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Meet the Transformative Water Leadership Cohort: Eric Sandoval

Posted on May 10, 2022


Meet the Transformative Water Leadership Cohort! We’re profiling the local government leaders who were accepted into this cohort to build resilient organizations that are unafraid to try new things, reform and improve business processes, and encourage empathy throughout the organization.


Eric Sandoval

Eric Sandoval

Innovation/GIS Administrator

City of Salinas, CA

Connect: LinkedIn


How would you explain your job to someone you just met?

I use data and analysis to improve services and reduce the bureaucracy of local government. I work with staff and management to provide efficient and effective services to our residents.

What is something you think is cool that most people think is boring?

Inter and intra species competition in marine ecological systems. Total nerdsville.

What was your path to local government work?

I went from snowboard instructor, to biotech, to academia, then to a water district, ran my own business, then moved over to the City of Salinas. It’s been an amazing ride. Wouldn’t change a thing.

Where does your to-do list live?

On a reMarkable notebook. Great device. A recommendation from a colleague.

What’s a local government topic or trend that you think more people should know about?

So many trends right now. I think innovation is still a topic that local government is trying to wrap its brain around. It’s not something you associate with government because of the bureaucracy, but its critical. The world around us, society in general, are always changing. It’s unrealistic to think that local government can remain static and be effective. Innovation is necessary, yet innovation requires risk. Government tends to be risk averse, hence the paradox. Yet, there a pockets of folks out there, hammering away to bring more innovation to local government, knowing that the future is bright for our communities when their city serves its residents efficiently and effectively.

Which artist was the first music purchase you made? What format was it (e.g. tape, CD, download…)?

Ugh. Dating myself here. I think I purchased a vinyl record: The Police, Synchronicity.

What question should we have asked you? What is the answer?

What is your favorite thing to do where you live? Answer: Fishing and hiking. The landscape and weather in Monterey County are unbelievable! I try to take advantage of any free time to hike the numerous trails or get out on the ocean on my boat. Everything is visually stunning. I feel incredibly lucky to live here.

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