For the second time this summer, the city has lost a top staff member to the city of Rialto.
Cynthia Alvarado-Crawford, who became director of the Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department in January 2019, is now the director of community services for Rialto, a position she started this month. Palm Springs City Manager Justin Clifton, who earlier this year replaced David Ready in that role, confirmed the departure last week.
Before arriving in Palm Springs, Alvarado-Crawford spent more than 13 years with the city of San Bernardino. She departed in 2019 as that city’s deputy director of parks, recreation, and community services.
Her exit in Palm Springs follows that of Marcus Fuller, who was appointed Rialto’s city manager in May. Fuller had served as Palm Springs’ assistant city manager since 2014. He previously worked as Rialto’s public works director and city engineer.
Since assuming the city manager role in Rialto, a San Bernardino County city of 103,000 with a projected budget of $196 million, Fuller has been actively recruiting new city leaders. Aside from the community services director opening filled by Alvarado-Crawford, Fuller is also seeking a new director of human resources.
The departure of both Fuller and Alvarado-Crawford leaves Palm Springs with three high-profile positions to fill. The city is not only seeking a new assistant city manager and parks and recreation director, but is also actively recruiting candidates for police chief. That role opened following the August retirement of Bryan Reyes, who served the city for 27 years, including five years in the top law enforcement role.
Earlier this month, Clifton said the city had narrowed the police chief candidate list down from more than 40 applicants and hoped to have three finalists by the end of the month. Acting Police Chief Melissa Desmarais has stated she is not seeking the role permanently.
In yet another Palm Springs-Rialto connection, Reyes’ daughter, a recent San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department graduate, began serving Rialto as a police officer earlier this summer.