Rick Cole has been City Manager of Ventura since 2004, emphasizing accountability, a balanced budget, civic engagement and smart growth.
Called “one of Southern California’s most visionary planning thinkers” by the Los Angeles Times, Cole is widely cited as an urban policy expert. He was honored by Governing Magazine as one of their nine “2006 Public Officials of the Year,” the only City Manager in the nation to earn that distinction. Governing cited his “intense focus on the details that add up to a vital city.” He currently serves as a member of the International City/County Managers Association Sustainability Advisory Committee and is a member of the American Planning Association, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Urban Land Institute.
Cole previously served six years as City Manager of Azusa, California. Under Cole’s leadership, Azusa was described as the “most improved city in the San Gabriel Valley” by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. He brings an unusual background to city management, having previously served as the Southern California Director of the Local Government Commission, Mayor of Pasadena, Executive Director of the West Hollywood Marketing Corporation and co-founder of the Pasadena Weekly newspaper.