Former Lodi city planner Craig Hoffman takes reins at Galt’s community development department

Craig Hoffman, formerly Lodi’s city planner, has been appointed the new community development director for the City of Galt. (Courtesy)

GALT — For Craig Hoffman, taking a position in Galt is a lot like coming home.

Hoffman, the former city planner with the City of Lodi, was appointed community development director for the City of Galt this week after serving in an interim role for four months.

His first official day was Dec. 21, and he'll be earning $129,000 annually. He takes over for Chris Erias, who left the post to take a position at the City of Manteca in August.

“When I left Lodi, I was doing much different stuff,” Hoffman said. “Before coming to Galt, from May to August I was in Rancho Seco, working on a solar project. The human resources department in Galt reached out to me and asked if I knew of anyone that could provide interim services, and I said ‘It sounds like fun, I'd like to do that.’”

After being appointed interim community development director in late August, Hoffman said he decided to apply for the position fulltime.

The Galt native didn't think he'd ever land a fulltime position in city hall, as the department seemed to have a history of making a retiree's second in command their successor.

He said he was excited that newly-hired city manager Lorenzo Hines had the confidence in him to give him the position.

“The community development director is the guardian of land development, obligated to protect the city from outside interests,” Hines said in a media statement Tuesday. “And Craig has already demonstrated his ability to carefully examine development projects and determine what’s best for the City. I have the utmost confidence in Craig’s ability to lead the city’s development efforts.”

Hoffman was raised in Galt, and interned at city hall in 1994 while attending California State University, Chico.

He earned a masters of rural and town planning from the university, and has spent more than 20 years in community development and planning.

He spent six years as Lodi's city planner before leaving in November 2019.

During Hoffman's four months as Galt’s interim director, the city council has considered three annexation projects that would add more than 800 new homes to Galt, as well as a potential school.

Despite plans for expansion, Hoffman said the city is not set to explode and expand overnight.

“We've got commercial projects, residential projects and industrial projects in the works,” he said. “We've got a lot of things happening, but as our city manager has said, we're going to grow on our own terms.”

Hoffman said because he grew up in Galt and knows the city well, as community development director he hopes to continue to support its history and tradition as the city moves forward and new projects are considered.

“I've really come full circle,” he said. “I got started here, and this is the place where I'm looking to finish my career. It feels really good coming back home. It feels comfortable and it feels right.”

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