Edith Ramirez fills in role as second most senior position in city hall
By Marty Cheek
As assistant city manager for Morgan Hill for the past 10 years, Leslie Little worked hard to improve the community in countless ways by overseeing areas of local governance. She retires Dec. 31.
Friends and colleagues gave her praise for her professionalism and kindness during the Tuesday Dec. 8 virtual council meeting.
Mayor Rich Constantine read a special certificate of recognition of her many accomplishments during her 43 years of “impeccable public service assisting nine separate jurisdictions in Northern California, Southern California, and Florida to create livable and sustainable communities.”
Her daughter, Elyse Little Morris, admitted during the meeting she was crying from the many positive comments about Little and told her mother: “I’m so proud of you, and you inspire me as a woman in my career.”
Little went from economic development director for the city of Alameda to work as Morgan Hill’s assistant city manager starting Jan. 3. 2010. Serving in the second-most senior position at city hall, she was hired by then-city manager Ed Tewes during a time when the city was addressing issues including growth control, capital improvements, downtown revitalization, and affordable housing.
“This group has really helped make this just such a joyful experience at the end of my professional career. It’s been a real treat,” she said. “To my colleagues — you’re brilliant. You’re all wonderful and you just make this such a wonderful time to depart knowing that it’s my turn and you’ll continue to do wonderful things.”
She also thanked her husband, Nick, of 35 years, and her daughter, Elyse, for dealing with her working long nights and weekends on city business.
“They’ve given me undying support always and they appreciate the work that I do,” she said. “Without them, it would have made it so much more difficult, and I appreciate them every single day.”
Little congratulated newly appointed city clerk, Michelle Bigelow, who replaced Irma Torres, and her successor as assistant city manager, Edith Ramirez, who served for nine years as the economic development director.
“As a woman who used to think she was a female pioneer, it makes me so happy to see bright, talented women rise through organizations and be recognized and take on the future and carry us forward with that point of view,” Little said. “It’s just been a wonderful partnership. The community, the team, the staff, thank you very much.”