City Manager

Harry Black, City Manager

Phone: (209) 937-8212

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Harry Black is a recognized champion of change and innovation who focuses on transforming organizations by applying best practices and outcome-based strategies. Black’s extensive career includes leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. He is a seasoned executive having served as city manager, deputy chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, program manager, and chief procurement officer.

Black is a leader and pioneer in the development and implementation of performance management programs for cities, helping them to optimize transparency, accountability, and overall performance, thereby improving overall service delivery. Black has implemented a comprehensive integrated systems approach that allows public sector organizations to optimize performance and results. He advocates for the systematic integration of data analytics, lean techniques, smart technologies, citistat programs, and laser-focused strategic planning.


In the area of public financial management, Black has led efforts for several large American cities in the issuance of more than $5 billion of municipal bond transactions from general obligation bonds, revenue anticipation notes, revenue bonds, short-term banknotes, and operating leases.  Successfully represented multiple municipalities to rating agencies. In three cases efforts led to bond rating and outlook upgrades. Black has a proven track record of helping cities successfully address structural budget imbalances, budget shortfalls, strengthening reserves and achieving healthcare and pension reform. 


Black has served as a leader in the area of capital program development and execution having served as Program Manager of a $500 million, five-year Federal design and construction program, building academic, food service, dormitory, medical, athletic/recreational, and vocational training facilities, supporting 20 million gross square feet of facilities across the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Black is credited with helping cities overcome debt capacity constraints with the introduction of innovative debt financing solutions that allowed these cities to be able to more than double lane miles repaved/preventative maintenance, fleet refreshment, new schools, new recreation centers, and gateway beautification.


Black is published in subjects ranging from community & economic development, pension & healthcare reform, and performance management & data analytics. In addition, he has delivered numerous presentations on the aforementioned subjects, as well as police-community relations reforms, infrastructure development, public procurement, and long-range public financial planning. 


Black received his BS in Public Administration from Virginia State University and his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Virginia. 


Maraskeshia Smith, Deputy City Manager II

Maraskeshia SmithPhone: (209) 937-8212

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Maraskeshia Smith has more than 20 years of government experience and is a recognized leader in performance management and data-driven decision making, with a focus on civic engagement, enhancing and revitalizing neighborhoods, creating strong teams and promoting trust in government through transparency and collaboration.

Ms. Smith joined the City of Stockton, May 4, 2020. Prior to coming to Stockton, she served as Assistant City Administrator to the City of Oakland, where she led efforts related to homelessness, affordable housing, land use and economic development. As Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, she led the department for nearly ten years, managing daily operations of traffic and roads, sanitation, facilities and fleet management.

Ms. Smith holds an MBA from Eastern Kentucky University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky. 


John Alita, Deputy City Manager II

Phone: (209) 937-8212

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John Alita joined the City in 2014 as the Director of Community Services, overseeing Library and Recreation. Before joining the City of Stockton, John worked for the City of San Bruno for 13 years serving as the Assistant Community Services Director.

During his tenure, he has led several successful efforts to improve the lives of Stockton residents. Working with staff, he introduced the model for “micro libraries”, which place library services in community centers, resulting in three new City library locations in underserved areas.


In 2016, John worked with community advocates to bring a ballot measure forward for Council consideration to provide additional funding for Library and Recreation services, which passed with 76% voter approval. In the years following the passage of the measure, Library and Community Center hours have been expanded, high-speed Internet was added to all facilities, and new programs were introduced. A new Library/Community Center facility has also been designed and is scheduled to break ground in the next several months. Most recently in 2019, the Community Services Department was awarded an $8.5 million competitive grant from the State of California to renovate McKinley Park.


John has a BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MLS from Indiana University, Bloomington. 



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This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 3/10/2021