Mayor Todd Gloria Thursday announced his selection of Eric K. Dargan to serve as the city's Chief Operating Officer to replace interim COO Jay Goldstone.
The announcement follows a national search with nearly 200 candidates which settled on Dargan, the current Chief Operating Officer of the Houston Public Works Department.
"I'm proud and excited to name Eric as the city of San Diego's next Chief Operating Officer, where his skills and experience will be put to great use as we continue the work to make our city function better at every level," Gloria said. "Eric is a true public servant who is ready to tackle our big challenges from building more housing and addressing homelessness to fixing our city's crumbling infrastructure. I am confident Eric will help drive change at the city and lead our mission to make San Diego not just a fine city, but a truly great city."
His appointment must be confirmed by the San Diego City Council. That confirmation hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12. If the council approves Dargan, he will take over as the city's COO on Nov. 1.
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Dargan has served the city of Houston for more than 20 years, where he oversees the city's water, transportation and drainage operations, permitting center, customer account services and capital projects. He is also responsible for the safe operating condition of the city's streets, bridges, drainage ditches, water, sewer and stormwater facilities, as well as permitting and billing.
"I'm honored to have been selected to help Mayor Todd Gloria carry out his big plans for this beautiful city," Dargan said. "I have a genuine passion for tackling significant challenges and making municipal operations as effective as possible for the people they serve. I look forward to bringing that passion to the city of San Diego."
An Arkansas native, Dargan attended college in Texas, earning his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Prairie View A&M University. He went on to earn his masters of science in electrical engineering at Michigan State University in 1991. While working for Houston, Dargan received a Certified Public Manager accreditation through Sam Houston State University in 2007.
Dargan began his professional career with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, now AT&T, where he also spent time in the U.S. Army, where he served for 10 years -- two years as a lieutenant on active duty and eight years in the National Guard, reaching the rank of captain and serving as company commander in the 136th Signal Corps.
If confirmed by the city council, he will take over as Chief Operating Officer from Goldstone, whom Gloria appointed as interim COO in November 2020, while the city conducted a national search for a permanent COO.
"It has been a privilege to serve Mayor Gloria as his Chief Operating Officer and to help him tackle many big issues the city faces," Goldstone said. "I wish Eric all of the best in his role as Chief Operating Officer and know that his experience running a large public works department will serve the city well."