Local government

Ontario city department heads switch roles and goals

ONTARIO – As the director of Ontario’s Community Development Office, Dan Cummings kept a busy schedule.
He job was to work on economic development in the city, promoting the growth of business and attracting companies to locate to Ontario.
In April, Cummings stepped in as interim city manager position and discovered a whole new meaning to the word “busy.”
“I came in at 4:30 a.m. this morning and was not done with phone calls and emails until 8:30 a.m.,” said Cummings in an interview on Wednesday, Aug. 17.
Even as he finished, more emails and phone call messages continued to come in.
“I have 13 phone calls to catch up on,” he said.
While his schedule is packed, Cummings said he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Believe it or not I enjoy it,” he said.
Cummings worked as the community development director for seven years.
The Ontario City Council made Cummings the interim head of the city in the wake of the departure of then-City Manager Adam Brown. He is also still in charge of the community development office.
His new role is filled with meetings, finalizing contracts, interacting and taking direction from the city council and overseeing city employees. Cummings’ salary is $135,200 a year.
Cummings isn’t the only city worker to face new job responsibilities. Ontario Airport Manager Justin Zysk is taking over city’s human resource office. The current human resource manager, May Swihart, is leaving for a job in Boise, said Cummings.
Zysk will also serve as the assistant to the city manager even as he continues to be the airport manager. The city is currently advertising for a new airport manager.
Zysk said he is ready for the new responsibilities. As airport manager Zyusk is paid $58,801.
“I like challenges,” said Zysk.
Zysk said he initially applied to be the city human resources director before but lost out to Swihart.
“A couple of weeks ago when she (Swihart) notified everyone she was leaving is when I kind of let Dan know and showed my interest in that job,” said Zysk.
Zysk said his new duties are “definitely a large job.”
He took over as airport manager in January.
Cummings said he is confident Zysk will do well wearing different management hats.
“I’ve worked hard with him out at the airport and he shows a lot of good work ethics and has desire,” said Cummings.
Cummings said the city is recruiting for city manager.
Cummings said he is applying to get the job.
“I’ve lived here a long time and I’m not planning on leaving,” said Cummings, who moved to Ontario from Nevada in 1974.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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