- City Manager
Ronda Perez, City Manager
Ronda Perez joined the City of Palmdale in the Fall of 2021 as Assistant City Manager. She was later named Interim City Manager in March 2022. City Council officially hired Perez as City Manager on Feb. 1, 2023.
Prior to her current role, she served as the Executive Director of Antelope Valley Economic Development and Growth Enterprise (AV EDGE) from 2020 to 2021 and in various local government roles for more than 14 years, including Parks, Recreation, and Arts Director as well as Assistant City Manager. She has extensive experience in capital project management, landscape maintenance, park development, program creation and implementation, special events, entrepreneurial ventures, strategic planning, communications, code enforcement, housing, economic development, finance, and public works/development services management. Mrs. Perez’s accomplishments are built upon a strong foundation. Her years of experience speak volumes regarding her keen understanding of local government and its purpose.
As City Manager, she is responsible to the City Council for implementing their goals and vision for the future of Palmdale. She regularly engages with the community, offering vivid insight and fresh eyes to the City’s many innovative programs and projects while leading staff in day-to-day business operations. A tenured member of the Antelope Valley, Ronda prides herself on making and sustaining strong community-based business and neighborly connections.
Perez earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach, as well as dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and criminology, law, and society from the University of California, Irvine.
Her greatest joy and fulfillment derive from being the daughter of forward-thinking, risk-taking parents, the wife of Anthony, a 20-plus year member of the United States Air Force, and the mother of their two children, Vincent and Isabella.
Mike Miller, Assistant City Manager
Mike Miller is energized by the possibilities of Palmdale’s fast-growing, innovative community, where young professionals can leave a legacy. As Assistant City Manager, he approaches challenges by considering the big picture and exploring new ways to solve problems. With 34 years of experience working with local government, of which the past 25 years have been spent serving the community of Palmdale, he has been able to foster and develop strong partnerships within a diverse community that included focusing on affordable housing, community revitalization, and economic development. He has helped create and preserve over 2,000 affordable housing units in the city, and he has implemented programs that boosted community engagement.
Mike joined the City of Palmdale’s Community Redevelopment Agency in 1997, giving him the unique opportunity to reimagine the model city of the future. Before joining the City of Palmdale, he spent 14 years in the private sector working in private and public construction/development and two years as a consultant for Francisco R. Joseph and Associates. Prior to his current position, he served as the Director of the newly formed Neighborhood Services Department for nine years. He oversaw the Public Safety, Neighborhood Compliance, Emergency Operations, and Housing Divisions, which included the City Housing Authority and oversight of the law enforcement service contract for the City. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Trinity College.
MICHAEL "MIKE" BEHEN, DEPUTY CITY MANAGER
Michael “Mike” Behen serves as the City’s Deputy City Manager. Mike was born and raised in the Antelope Valley and has been a City of Palmdale employee for 30-plus years. Mike is well versed in many areas of city government including planning, economic development, traffic/transportation planning, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), administration, and City Council and regional relations. Mike has stepped up on several occasions when key positions became vacant, and leadership was needed. At different times, he has been the City’s acting economic development manager, acting planning manager (twice), and acting economic and community development director (twice). He took on these duties while maintaining regular work assignments associated to his primary position.
Mike is a strong proponent of continuing education. He has an associate degree from Pasadena City College; a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from California State University, Northridge (CSUN); a master’s degree in public administration from CSUN; and a 24-unit certificate from the University of California, Riverside in GIS. Mike has also completed Caltrans’ Resident Engineers Academy; American Public Works Institute operation and training management program; Commonwealth Centers for High Performance Organizations (HPO) program; and the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service leadership development program.
Mike is heavily involved in a wide range of regional planning matters. He was the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) North Los Angeles County subregional coordinator for over 10 years, and is currently the North County Transportation Coalition (NCTC) staff liaison for Palmdale’s elected officials. He is currently a board director for American Public Works Association (APWA) High Desert Branch, and a member of the Los Angeles Metro technical advisory committee (TAC) and Antelope Valley Edge (AV EDGE) transportation committee.
Mike has one son, who is a video game enthusiast and aspiring inventor.
Mike’s message to all people — Believe in you.