Burkland’s new deputy is a captain

Rucker of the Chico PD will become assistant city manager

When Chico City Manager Dave Burkland started looking for a deputy, little did he know that’s almost literally what he’d get. John Rucker (pictured), captain with the Chico Police Department, will take over as assistant city manager around the end of the year, after a transition period.

Burkland whittled down an applicant pool of 48 to 15, then interviewed six before deciding on the successor to interim Assistant City Manager Dennis Beardsley, who’ll return to his previous post of general services director. The other in-house candidate was economic-development director Martha Wescoat-Andes.

“I’m thrilled it’s taking place and a little surprised—things don’t always work out so well,” Burkland said by phone Tuesday (Oct. 7). “With his experience and education, John is the best person for the job. He is a top manager for the Police Department and has a lot of experience working on issues with the city. I have been really impressed with his abilities.”

The transition timetable, Burkland said, coincides with the time Rucker and Beardsley need to tie up loose ends. Meanwhile, in the Chico PD, Lori McPhail has been promoted to acting captain and starts her transition filling in for ailing Capt. Mike Maloney.