With more than 35 years of experience in government, Steve Preston has served as San Gabriel’s city manager since January, 2010, overseeing an organization with more than 170 full time employees and a municipal budget of $52 million. “San Gabriel is a unique place on Southern California’s landscape,” he notes. “Few communities in the Los Angeles region share the depth of history, community and culture that make this place so compelling.”
An urban planner by training, Steve’s interests include a commitment to historic preservation and sustainable design that are hallmarks of his approach to managing San Gabriel. “This is the most extraordinary community I’ve had the pleasure of serving, and every day is a reminder of the remarkable history and great people who make up this community.”
Steve has been a member of the International City Management Association (ICMA) for more than 15 years, contributing to the ICMA’s most recent volume on planning and management. Prior to joining San Gabriel, he served as deputy city manager, overseeing community development and public works programs. During his time with San Gabriel the city received several awards for its planning and economic development initiatives. As city manager, he has focused on a wide array of outreach and communications initiatives, under the policy guidance of a Council which has placed strong emphasis on community engagement, strategic planning, economic and infrastructure development.
Active in the profession, Steve also served four years on the American Planning Association’s (APA) national board of directors, chairing its national Legislative and Policy Committee. A former president of APA California, he is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP); a former member of the Planning Accreditation Board; and a former president of the California Planning Roundtable. He has served as adjunct faculty in the urban planning programs at both USC and Cal Poly, Pomona, and for more than a decade has co-chaired the UCLA Extension Land Use Law and Planning Conference. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in planning from Cal Poly, Pomona with emphasis in policy administration and communications.
Having served on the boards of the Asian Youth Center, La Casa de San Gabriel and the San Gabriel Community Foundation, Steve believes in the Greek motto, “Achieve the honorable,” and seeks to fulfill its aspirations every day.