Robinson announces plans to retire in July
Frank Robinson announced today his plans to retire as Town Manager this summer, ending a distinguished tenure in Apple Valley that has included innovations in economic development, new levels of regional cooperation and steady fiscal growth in the face of one of the most challenging eras ever for California municipalities.
Robinson, who arrived in Apple Valley in July 2008, will return to his home state of Texas, where his wife recently relocated to provide care for her mother. His last day as Town Manager is tentatively set for July 30.
“It was a very hard decision. Lisa and I fell in love with Apple Valley when we moved here, and we’ve been blessed to make it our home for the past nine years,” said Robinson, who had planned to retire next year. “I’ve woven myself into the fabric of the community and made lifelong friends. But my assistance is needed in Texas, and as I’ve always believed, family comes first.”
The Town Council will likely appoint an interim Town Manager while a national search is conducted. Robinson will help during the transition, to insure Town initiatives are unaffected.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have a Town Manager with the leadership and vision that Frank has provided Apple Valley,” said Mayor Scott Nassif. “I’m not sure people realize how challenging the past decade as been for cities and towns in California, through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the loss of redevelopment financing and the struggle to come up with new revenue streams. As a council member and mayor, I have leaned on Frank’s expertise and wisdom not only in getting us through this difficult period, but positioning us for the future.”
In 2015, Robinson’s lifetime of achievement in municipal government earned him the Larry Chimbole Public Service Award from the League of California Cities’ Desert/Mountain Region.
He was nominated by city managers of four nearby communities, who lauded his “exemplary community spirit and inclusiveness.” Among Robinson’s many accomplishments, he is a leader of the High Desert retail marketing collaboration known as Opportunity High Desert, an initiative that has joined all of the region’s cities together to attract new business instead of competing for limited sales tax revenue.
“Dating back to his early years as a law enforcement officer in Texas, Frank has always sought to help the needy, protect the vulnerable and support his community to the upmost,” the city managers wrote. “The Town of Apple Valley is a very special place that has greatly benefitted by his years of outstanding leadership.”
Robinson is an outspoken advocate of higher education and empowering others to achieve their goals. Under his leadership and encouragement, 15 Town employees have completed or are currently enrolled in college degree programs.
“Frank has been an innovator, a leader and a friend,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Art Bishop. “He will be missed, but he leaves the Town in extremely good shape. With his help, this will be a very smooth transition.”
Bishop said ongoing initiatives – such as the acquisition of the Apple Valley water system – will continue to move forward.
“The water acquisition is something we as a council began pursuing in response to public outrage over water rates,” he said. “That hasn’t changed, and we remain committed to bringing local, community control to our water system.”
Town Councilmember Barb Stanton said Robinson’s steady leadership at Town Hall was apparent from the beginning.
“The team he has in place is as strong as any you will find in municipal government,” said Stanton, who also serves on the Regional Council of the Southern California Association of Governments. “Even with the challenges cities and towns face, Frank and his team never wavered in their commitment to providing Apple Valley residents with the highest quality service and support.”
“I know Frank is making this move for the right reason, and I wish him all my best,” said Councilmember Larry Cusack. “Frank is a big reason Apple Valley has prospered as much as it has, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all he has done.”
Said Councilmember Curt Emick, “We’re a better community for having had Frank Robinson as our Town manager. I admire his decision to put family first. He and Lisa left an extraordinary mark on our community, and I look forward to our paths crossing down the line.”
Robinson holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Sam Houston State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of North Texas.
He is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager with 31 years of experience in public administration. Before arriving in Apple Valley, he spent 14 years as President and Township Manager of The Woodlands Township, located 30 miles North of Houston, TX.