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 interim city manager in March 2022, and the City Council officially hired her as city manager on February 1, 2023. 

Before 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 over 14 years, including Parks, Recreation, and Arts director and 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, and 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.

SAL MENDEZ, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER

Sal Mendez is a distinguished public servant known for his unwavering dedication to public service and his expertise in public works. With over six years of experience as a public works director, Sal has consistently propelled agencies into a more sustainable future through his visionary leadership.

Sal’s leadership in multimillion-dollar projects not only showcases his technical prowess but also underscores his deep commitment to fostering sustainable growth and development. His strategic initiatives have left an indelible mark on the communities he serves, enhancing their infrastructure and overall well-being.

A proud alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, Sal holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Building on this foundation, he earned a master’s degree in public administration from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Sal’s academic achievements complement his practical experience, equipping him with a holistic understanding of community dynamics and effective governance.

Beyond the boardroom, Sal finds joy in spending quality time with his wife and two boys. An avid golfer, he appreciates the strategic mindset and discipline the sport instills. Additionally, his love for travel not only broadens his horizons but also informs his approach to community development.

Sal Mendez stands as a testament to the transformative power of dedicated public service. His blend of professional expertise, academic rigor, and commitment to family values positions him as a leader dedicated to the holistic betterment of community and personal spheres.

SARA GALLAGHER,  DEPUTY CITY MANAGER

As deputy city manager, Sara Gallagher brings over 26 years of dedicated experience serving the community in public safety, community-oriented policing, and enforcement of state and local laws. A community leader, Sara builds bridges between the City and essential stakeholders while focusing on reaching goals that better serve the public and address the changing needs of our diverse population.

Sara is committed to working with the City Council, City management and the public to foster an environment of transparency and trust. For nearly 17 years, she’s demonstrated her ability to effectively collaborate with City departments to ensure long-term success for Palmdale. She began her career with the City in 2007 as a code enforcement officer. Over the years, she has also held senior code enforcement officer and Community Compliance supervisor and manager positions.

Prior to working with the City, Sara worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where she served as a security officer for 10 years. Sara earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and a Master of Public Administration at National University. She has a deep commitment and dedication to serving her community. A respected leader, Sara is committed to building a culture of trust and respect and is passionate about developing and mentoring the next generation of public servants.

Sara was born and raised in the Antelope Valley. Her husband, five daughters, two grandchildren and three Labrador dogs bring her joy, daily. During her free time, she enjoys boating, camping, and traveling.

NARDY LOPEZ,  DEPUTY CITY MANAGER

As deputy city manager, Nardy Lopez brings 18 years of dedication and passion to serving Palmdale’s residents. She thrives in immersing herself in the community and cultivating relationships to build partnerships with local organizations such as nonprofits, Chambers of Commerce, and school districts for the benefit of all.

Over the course of her career, Nardy has supported and represented the City in a variety of roles. She began her career as an administrative assistant, then as executive assistant to the city manager, and, more recently, as a management analyst. As an analyst, she led several instrumental programs to uplift and benefit the community, such as implementing the City’s first small business program, which resulted in over $1 million in grants. She managed projects to attract and retain small businesses, participated in economic development strategic planning, and oversaw the Paul George Food for Families initiative, which provided food to stroke victims during the pandemic. She also oversaw the City’s award-winning 2020 Census Outreach Campaign, with greater resident participation resulting in reporting a population increase of over 10% that earned the U.S. Census Bureau Gold Partnership Award.

Nardy served as assistant to the city manager beginning in 2021. During her tenure, she oversaw the Communications division, including developing and implementing goals and objectives, establishing public communication activities and operations methods, and implementing policies and procedures. She demonstrated strong servant leadership during the global pandemic and social movements, measured improvements, and implemented the Wellbeing Lab Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology program and an educational campaign to address the fentanyl epidemic.

Nardy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business, a Master of Arts in Management, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Redlands. A lifelong learner, she has earned several professional development certificates over the years and continues pursuing other opportunities to develop her leadership skills. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and family. Her greatest joy derives from faith and her passion for family and community service.