Vallejo losing its human resources director

by John Glidden | Feb. 9, 2021

VALLEJO – Once again, Vallejo City Manager Greg Nyhoff will need to fill a vacancy in his senior leadership team after city officials confirmed to Tuesday night that Human Resource Director Heather Ruiz is leaving Vallejo.

Vallejo spokeswoman Christina Lee said Ruiz will become the human resources director for the city of Napa.

“She shared with us that the move was for family reasons and expressed her appreciation of her time with the City, as well as her great relationship with the City Manager and the Senior Leadership Team,” Lee wrote in an email to

Lee said Ruiz gave a four-week notice about her upcoming departure with March 5 being her last day with the city of Vallejo.

Since being lured away from Napa County in July 2018, Ruiz has become one of Nyhoff’s top advisors as she was recently promoted to interim deputy city manager last October.

At the same time, Gillian Hayes, who serving as the city’s planning & development services director position, was also promoted to interim deputy city manager.

Both women receive a base salary of $184,771 in their respective positions, with each earning a pay differential of $8.88/per hour more as interim deputy city manager, according to differential pay authorizations approved by Nyhoff.

Nyhoff wasn’t done, as newly hired Planning Manager Christina Ratcliffe was promoted to interim planning & development services director, while Margaret Kavanaugh-Lynch was hired as planning manager.

Ratcliffe went from making $147,923 to $159,612, records show.

Since arriving in Vallejo more than three years ago, Nyhoff has made several personnel changes, including firing his top advisors, Will Morat, Joanna Altman, and Slater Matzke in April 2020.

All three told ABC 7 in December that they believe they were terminated for being whistleblowers against Nyhoff. They have since filed a claim for damages against the city of Vallejo.

He also terminated Fire Chief Jack McArthur in June 2018.

Under his tenure, he’s filled several top level positions, including human resources, police chief, fire chief, planning & development services, risk manager, assistant city manager, and finance director.

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

4 thoughts on “Vallejo losing its human resources director

  1. Well now that she has served her purpose in covering up the racist, misogyny of Nyoff and the disgusting badge bending disaster, she can skip on back to Napa. King Nyoff is busy stocking the pool and advancing those who put up with his bad behavior. For the others who remain, Off With Their Heads! or, as in some of the other recent department heads leaving, they see the writing on the wall and what happens to whistleblowers.

    When will someone realize the Wannbe King has no clothes and is the problem?


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