AGOURA HILLS, CA — The Agoura Hills City Council unanimously and enthusiastically approved the appointment of Nathan Hamburger as city manager. Hamburger, who has worked for the city since 2006 and served as assistant city manager since 2007, begins his new role Wednesday.

The Council interviewed candidates and held four closed-door meetings to discuss what they wanted from a city manager during a uniquely difficult time before agreeing on Hamburger. At a June 24 meeting, council members all seemed pleased with their decision.

“It was unanimous that we feel that Nate Hamburger is the best person for the job,” said Mayor Ilece Buckley Weber. “He serves with integrity, he’s very well-respected in our community, people think that Agoura Hills they recognize that [outgoing City Manager Greg Ramirez] gave Mr. Hamburger a great opportunity practically managing the city together, and people really think very highly of Agoura Hills and how we have run our city, so I’m excited about that …the city manager’s job is to implement the policies, the goals, and the vision of the city council, and I believe that Mr. Hamburger will be able to do that for the five of us.”

“I’m grateful that we have someone who’s so well-versed in the knowledge of our local community, the needs of our residents, which are great right now, the needs of our businesses, which are even greater,” said Councilmember Linda Northrup. “I’m so eternally grateful I’m not gonna be having to get someone up to speed from ground zero to understand the concerns that we have and the issues we’ll have moving forward.”

“Nate is so hands-on, he’s a team player, he cares so much about the people he serves – it’s hard to find true hearts of service, and he’s got one,” said Councilmember Deborah Klein Lopez. “You’ve shown your competence with large projects and crises with so many different juggling acts that are thrown your way.”

“I have nothing to say about nate other than a lot of praise,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Weber. “I’ve worked with him for our entire tour of duty with our city, and he’s a man of integrity, patience, and energy, and I think he was ready for this job probably 8-10 years ago, and I’m just very happy to vote yes.”

Councilmember Chris Anstead noted that various constituents have told him that they want change in city leadership. Anstead said that even though Hamburger has been with the city for 14 years, he’s confident Hamburger will serve consituents well.

“I think the thing that I want to try to emphasize is just because if we make a decision to hire Mr. Hamburger as city manager, just because he’s been in the city for quite a while, doesn’t mean that the residents of Agoura don’t want some changes being made,” Anstead said. “I have observed Mr. Hamburger and his role in the last 18 months. He has done a fantastic job and everything that I have observed of him, and I have full confidence that he’ll do a great job for our city, especially in this time of crisis.”

As assistant city manager, Hamburger worked closely with former City Manager Greg Ramirez on everything from budget oversight to information technology to media relations to economic development. He earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in business administration and criminal justice from California State University at Fullerton, and got a master’s in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Hamburger said that he plans to use his experience to help carry out the vision of the City Council and the community.

In an email to Patch, Hamburger wrote: “Looking at the challenges of the community, I believe that one of the largest ones we will all be dealing with is the changes that are created out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a municipality, I believe that we will be forced to find new ways to provide services to the community, specifically our senior citizens and youth as the traditional means of connection have been altered. I will be challenging our staff to look at new and innovative ways to continue to keep our community members safe while still providing the vital services that are demanded, which I see as an opportunity made possible by a difficult challenge.”

This article originally appeared on the Agoura Hills Patch