Honeycutt to become SH’s deputy city manager

honeycutt.jpgBy Nick Diamantides, Staff Writer

In a 5-0 vote, the Signal Hill City Council selected Charlie Honeycutt, Signal Hill’s director of public works, as the city’s new deputy city manager. The official vote, which took place during the August 28 council meeting, came as no surprise to anyone. “We were talking about it for about two months and we interviewed him in a closed session at the previous council meeting,” said Vice Mayor Mike Noll. “He is definitely the right person for this job.”
Honeycutt began his career with the city as a street maintenance worker in 1987, while working toward an engineering degree at Cerritos College. “About two years later, the city had an opening for an engineering technician and they were looking for someone with drafting experience, which I had,” Honeycutt said. “I applied for it, got the job and they moved me to city hall.”
Because of his job responsibilities, Honeycutt changed his educational focus. “I took courses in auto CAD (computer assisted design) to be better able to perform my duties,” he said. “At that time everyone was moving from manual to computer design, and I felt learning that was more important than getting my engineering degree.”
That turned out to be a wise decision. Honeycutt’s job performance earned him another promotion—to senior engineering technician—a few years later. “At that point, because I was moving into more of a manager role, I decided that a business degree was better suited for me,” he said, adding that shortly after his promotion, he enrolled in the business program at the University of Phoenix in Fountain Valley and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1997.
Soon after that, Honeycutt was promoted a third time. “I became the public works administrator, overseeing the engineering function of the public works department,” he said.
City Manager Ken Farfsing noted that Honeycutt’s step-by-step promotions have been a natural result of the way he has done his job. “Charlie has an excellent work ethic and follow-up skills,” Farfsing said. “When you give Charlie a job, you know it’s going to get done, and done well.”
That kind of performance led to Honeycutt’s most recent promotion—to director of public works—about five years ago. The public works department has 30 full-time employees and an $8.3 million budget for the current fiscal year. In addition, the department has $10.6 million in its capital improvement projects budget.
The largest project Honeycutt has overseen to date was the Spring Street widening, which added one lane in each direction to that street from California Avenue to Long Beach Boulevard. “We partnered with Long Beach for that project, but we managed it ourselves,” he said. “We had to purchase additional right-of way, coordinate utility and pipeline relocations and install new traffic signals.” The widening was completed in 2005.
Honeycutt has also been heading up the city’s plans to build a new police department headquarters. “I will continue managing the new police station project even after I assume the role of deputy city manager,” he said, adding that he will begin transitioning into that role in a few months. “The city will soon begin recruiting for a new public works director,” he said. “I’ll probably stay in my current position until my replacement is selected.”
That time will not come too soon for Farfsing. “That position has been vacant since former Deputy City Manager Debbie Rich left about nine months ago,” he said. “I think the world of Charlie and look forward to having him in that role.”
As deputy city manager, Honeycutt will assist with personnel matters, budget management, redevelopment projects and legislative issues—especially proposed federal and state laws that will impact the city.
“This has been a tremendous organization to work for,” Honeycutt said. “Throughout my career here, the city council and all the other department heads have always been very supportive of me, and I look forward to keeping those good relationships as we move the city forward.”
Honeycutt lives in Signal Hill with his wife Bedelia, 19-year-old daughter Shelby, and two sons: 15-year-old Kenny and 8-year-old Alex.

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