Honoring Fred Meurer on 27 Years of Service to the City of Monterey, Californiaby Representative Sam Farr
Posted on 2013-12-10
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the career of a
truly remarkable public servant who I am proud to call a friend. Fred
Meurer is retiring from the position of City Manager for the City of
Monterey, California after holding the job since 1991. That is a
remarkably long tenure in any job. In the field of city management, it
is unheard of. But for those of us who have had the honor and pleasure
of working with Fred over the years, those twenty-two years are a
testament to his tremendous ability and professionalism.
Fred joined the City of Monterey in 1986, initially as the Special Projects Manager in the City Manager's office, and then as the City's Public Works Director for the next five years. In July of 1991, the City Council appointed Mr. Meurer to the position of City Manager. Since his appointment, Mr. Meurer has been actively involved in fostering working relationships between business districts, residential districts and City Hall. He has overseen the re-development of the City's residential neighborhoods and business districts. Neighborhood policing, waterfront acquisition, the main street program, tourism development, historic preservation programs and development of the education and research economic clusters have been instrumental in diversifying Monterey's economy. The success in this effort has financed the City's program for developing ``preventive'' programs in policing, fire protection, community services, recreation, public works and other public services.
Fred has been actively involved in developing cooperative relationships between the City and the Department of Defense (DoD) activities in Monterey in an effort to further increase DoD mission effectiveness while reducing their operating costs. Fred was responsible for germinating an idea--which Congress enacted in 1994 as a pilot program--of allowing military installations in Monterey County, California, to purchase a range of maintenance and municipal services from local government agencies in the County. Over the subsequent years, the Army Audit Agency has consistently validated cost savings to the Army and ``the Monterey Model,'' as it become known in the Pentagon, became a permanent national program in 2013.
In conceiving this program, Fred's goal was to provide the same high quality municipal services to DoD activities and personnel as the City provides its civilian neighborhoods, while saving the City money by spreading its overhead over a larger base. Similar cooperative service agreements have been negotiated with other cities in the region. These inter-governmental partnerships have also helped broaden the economic base of the City.
Recognizing the value of integrated municipal services between military installations and the city brings not only financial benefits to both parties but strengthens the town-base relationship. Fred nourished that relationship and looked for ways for the town and the military to interact seamlessly. This inter-relatedness was especially evident during the 1995 and 2005 BRAC rounds when the BRAC Commission determined that, because of the inherent value of the community contribution to the functioning of the local installations, there was no way to reproduce those functions elsewhere and those installations had to remain open and in Monterey.
Fred graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1966, and received graduate degrees from Stanford University in Water Resources Planning and Civil Engineering in 1971. He served overseas assignments in Germany, Viet Nam and Korea. His final active duty tour was as Director of Public Works and Housing at the former Ft. Ord. He retired as a Colonel from the Army in 1986.
Mr. Speaker, Fred Meurer is the epitome of a model public servant who brought wisdom, professionalism, creativity and problem solving skills to the job of City Manager of Monterey and leaves a legacy of accomplishments that not only benefit the residents of Monterey but also serve as a model of sound civic management for others to learn from and emulate. In his 1961 State of the Union address to Congress, President John F. Kennedy commented on his administration's commitment to civil service and the following words, ``Let the public service be a proud and lively career,'' struck me as the embodiment of Fred Meurer's stellar career.
Fred along with his wife Phyllis will now begin a new journey in life. An avid Oakland A's fan, Native American art collector and delicious ice cream maker, new adventures await this dedicated husband, father and grandfather. I wish Fred and his wife all the best in their well-deserved retirement years.