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Special Feature February 1st, 2007

A Local Story

Paul MaloneHe was fresh out of college, having graduated from Humboldt State. He had worked hard during school with a vision of taking his degree and then becoming a forest ranger.

Fate was to intervene.

As you will see, fate had bigger plans for him. Fate sometimes works like that.

Fate is sometimes assisted by pestering girl friends who keep a mind and body on the straight and narrow . . . and that’s pretty much what happened in this story.

He was taking a well deserved break from college, visiting his home in Oceanside, planning on moving back up to Humboldt, California, but meanwhile he was enjoying the freedom from classes and curricula. His girlfriend thought he was enjoying that freedom a little too much.

“Have you checked out the classifieds today?” she’d ask.

“Naw, I’ll probably get to it in a day or two,” he said.

A day or two wound up being a week or two . . . and after enough pestering he finally picked up the local paper and checked out the job opening ads. He saw a job in the planning department and decided to apply for it, just for giggles.

When he got there, he learned the job offer closed at 5pm that day. He got his application in at 4:45pm, just under the wire.

He didn’t think much more about it. Then a couple evenings later, while relaxing at home, the phone rang. It was about 10pm . . . on the other end was then San Marcos Planning Director Darrell Gentry. (Gentry, today a Land Use Planner, would later become a San Marcos Council Member . . . and in some quarters today’s political observers think he’ll be a candidate for city council again. An observation that Gentry doesn’t take great pains to deny.)

“We’d like to offer you the job you applied for in the planning department,” said Gentry. “It’s an entry level position as a planning technician. You’ll have a chance to learn on the job . . . and who knows where it might lead?”

A prophetic thought, it turned out.

“When I first got to the planning department,” he said, “we were in a trailer. A mobile home that was serving as an office. My desk was a door. A door! They hadn’t even filled in the hole the door had to receive the doorknob and lock assembly. It was a humble beginning.”

Humble indeed.

Nonetheless, he toughed it out. He went through the highs and lows that most any career offers. And he began to move up in the ranks. He was a hard worker, had a good mind, learned quickly . . . and folks learned he could be depended upon.

That old girlfriend that had nagged him so consistently that he eventually caved in and actually read the Help Wanted ads? She’s long gone. He doesn’t quite remember whether she left the relationship or he left the relationship . . . but it is now history (though that old girlfirend would likely take great comfort in knowing she had a hand in forming his career).

He would meet another girlfriend in time. This one he married. Lovely lady named Mary-Glenn. Together, they have have two sons, Evan, 11, and Connor, 13. They have lived in San Marcos since 1984.

An hourly employee when hired, he now earns $205,000 a year. Nice story, eh?

Oh, I almost forgot. The subject of our story? The gent is Paul Malone, our new San Marcos City Manager.





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