Hollister’s new interim City Manager Ed Kreins keeps himself
busier than most retired 68-year-old men. In fact, Kreins stays
busier than most people, of any age, period.
Hollister’s new interim City Manager Ed Kreins keeps himself busier than most retired 68-year-old men. In fact, Kreins stays busier than most people, of any age, period.

Kreins begins his new job as a temporary successor to City Manager George Lewis Jan. 13 and will earn $12,949 per month.

Lewis announced his retirement Sept. 13 and steps down Friday. Since Lewis’ announcement, the City Council has developed plans for a permanent successor and part of that strategy became hiring a temporary city manager until a full-time successor can be hired.

The City Council unanimously agreed to hire Kreins after interviewing three candidates during a Dec. 30 Council meeting.

“I’m laughingly retired,” Kreins said, referring to a post-retirement career shifting around the state as a leader in an array of cities.

Not that Kreins lacks qualifications for a permanent post.

He previously served as a city manager five times, including four in interim positions. The most recent was a seven-month stint in Livermore – where he impressed officials so much they asked him to stay permanently as their city manager. He declined the offer.

Don’t expect him to accept a permanent offer from Hollister, either. Kreins – a civic nomad of sorts – has turned down the same proposition from every city where he’s worked as an interim city manager.

“I’m not interested in going somewhere full-time,” Kreins said.

He spent his first 24 years out of college from Golden Gate University in law enforcement – 13 of those as a police chief in three different cities; Sausalito, Pleasant Hill and Beverly Hills.

Kreins headed the Beverly Hills Police Department during the filming of the 1984 Eddie Murphy movie “Beverly Hills Cop.”

After city officials expressed concern about the city’s image to the studio’s producers, Kreins was given a special authority on the movie before filming – “script approval” as he called it.

“They told me I could ‘red line’ it,” Kreins said about his power to make edit marks. “I read it and laughed my butt off.”

Following his work in law enforcement, Kreins spent 11 years as the Beverly Hills city manager before “retiring.”

Almost immediately, several government and private agencies recruited Kreins to perform investigative work. And they haven’t stopped calling since. Kreins said he has performed investigations in 35 different cities since retiring.

“I’ve done more work with investigations than city manager jobs,” he said.

Also after retirement, officials from Calabasas – a newly forming city in Northern Los Angeles County – asked Kreins in the early 1990s to spearhead its establishment.

He accepted a job as interim city manager and in the process also recruited its first permanent city manager and other personnel. Since, Kreins said he has recruited city managers for 10 different municipalities and just about every city government job imaginable.

While Kreins isn’t seeking a long-lasting home in Hollister, he’s also not looking for an opportunity to loaf on the job.

“I’ll work as if I’m going to be there and stay there,” Kreins said. “I wouldn’t take a job where I just open mail and put my feet on the desk.”

Councilman Tony LoBue is the lone member of a city manager search subcommittee. He recently prescreened the interim candidates before recommending Kreins.

“I feel confident he can step right in and do the job,” LoBue said.

Kreins said he’ll drive three hours north to Hollister this week from his home in Nipomo to meet staff and Councilmembers before starting full-time next week.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said.

A Council-hired search firm – Bob Murray and Associates – is currently in the process of a nationwide search for Hollister’s next city manager. That process is scheduled to last two to four more months.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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