Although Tony Coroalles, the longtime Calabasas city manager, has retired, the city will still be guided by a familiar face, one that has been around as long as Coroalles.
City officials announced that Gary Lysik, the city’s chief financial officer, will be the new city manager. He was hired as CFO in 2003, the same year Coroalles came aboard as manager.
After Coroalles said he was retiring in April, Lysik was encouraged by residents and some at city hall to apply for the position.
“It was something I was considering for some time, be it here or at another city, and when the opportunity presented itself here, what better place (could I want)?” Lysik said. “Tony certainly leaves a big legacy. For 15 years he was very successful, and leaving on his own accord is a feather in his cap. I only hope to follow in his footsteps as closely as I can, get as many accomplishments under my belt as he did.”
Lysik, a 56-year-old resident of Santa Clarita, said he’s both stressed and excited about his new position. Stressed because he wants to do a good job, and excited for the chance to take on a new role. He plans to examine the day-to-day workings of the city’s government and see if there’s room for improvement, expenses that can be cut, and responsibilities that can be spread out.
He came to the city from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, an organization that works to preserve the Santa Monica Mountains. He was giving a budget presentation to an audience that included a Calabasas city official, who approached him after the meeting to ask if he’d be interested in applying for the city’s CFO position.
When he’s not balancing budgets, Lysik, a father of two, enjoys going to Dodger games. His office is full of bobble-headed likenesses of the team’s players, gifts from one of his sons.
“I used to work at Dodger Stadium years ago when I was a Boy Scout,” Lysik said. “One of the troop leaders worked there as his full-time job, so he got all the Scouts jobs there on cap night, things like that. When I go now I still remember playing catch with Don Sutton and Steve Yeager. Our seats now aren’t as good, of course.”
One of his favorite pastimes is flying helicopters—he’s just one test away from getting his license.
Lysik took up the activity after Karen, his wife of 33 years, got into the cockpit as a way to conquer her fear of flying. He said if his life had taken a slightly different route he would have been a professional pilot, so when his wife fell in love with flying he joined her.
“(When I was younger) I was going to join the Air Force. I took the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test, finished in the top 3 percent of the class,” Lysik said. “Instead, I took a job at Northrop (Grumman Corporation) as a financial analyst. They called me on the day I was supposed to sign (papers with the Air Force). I would have enjoyed (the Air Force), but finance is a little more geared toward having a family. I was married and wanted to have kids and didn’t want to move them around the world from base to base.”
Lysik will start in his new position after the City Council officially approves his contract, set for the Aug. 8 meeting.