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Los Angeles CIO Steve Reneker Circles Back to Riverside County

Reneker will vacate his position to fill his previous role as CIO of Riverside County, Calif.

Los Angeles Information Technology Agency General Manager Steve Reneker has announced his resignation, to take effect on May 1, when he’ll return to his former role as CIO of Riverside County, Calif.

News of his departure was made public by L.A. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield who said Reneker would be returning to his home town of Riverside, Calif., where he previously served as county CIO from 1997 to 2003, and city CIO from 2005 to 2012. Blumenfield did not detail if or when Reneker would be replaced, however, and commended his pursuits in LA where he championed a number of IT initiatives.

“I have worked closely with Steve Reneker to push Los Angeles into the 21st century,” Blumenfield said in a statement. “Over the past two years, he has been a tireless ally in our nationally recognized efforts to streamline and modernize Los Angeles’ technology footprint, embrace open data, and critically, to increase access to high-speed broadband for all Angelenos.”

Under Reneker’s leadership, Los Angeles placed in the top five of Government Technology's Best of the Web for a number of initiatives, including the city’s expenditure portal, 311 service platform, new utility portals, open data efforts and deployment of a Cyber Intrusion Command Center to safeguard city data. The city also placed first in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey conducted by the Center for Digital Government.

In an email response Friday evening, Reneker expressed enthusiasm for his new position, and said initial IT projects would assist the county with its economic challenges. 

“Riverside County is going through similar financial difficulties as Los Angeles and is looking to reduce technology spent through IT consolidation while trying to move toward new innovative solutions at the same time,” Reneker said. “[I’m] looking forward to bringing many of the great initiatives that were successful here in Los Angeles such as open data, mobility, cybersecurity and cloud-first [practices] to make the 10th largest county in the U.S. up to par to the No. 1 digital city in the U.S., Los Angeles.”

A release from Mayor Eric Garcetti's office announced that Los Angeles Chief Innovation Technology Officer Peter Marx would become the city's chief technology officer, and Ted Ross, assistant general manager of the city’s Information Technology Agency, would become interim general manager of the ITA.

Reneker credited L.A.’s IT leadership for innovation efforts in spite of budget constraints, and listed the city’s gigabit broadband initiative, called CityLinkLA, and a city wide digital inclusion program called OurCycleLA as just two of the city's notable accomplishments.

“Working in the second largest city in the United States during difficult financial times is a challenge, but through executive directives from Mayor Garcetti — who makes innovation a priority — and bringing in leaders like Rick Cole, deputy mayor, and through shifts in priorities and leveraging low cost solutions, they have proven that you can be a data-driven organization of innovation and excellence.”

In a separate statement from Riverside County, officials said Reneker would take over his duties as early as May 4.

“We are very pleased to welcome Steve back,” said Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Marion Ashley in a release. “He already knows Riverside County and most of its top officials, and he knows how to improve IT through innovation."

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect further details released by Mayor Eric Garcetti's office and comments from Steve Reneker.

Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.