Wanted: City Manager

Wanted: City Manager

By Robert Haugh

It’s official. The city has posted a job description for Santa Clara’s next city manager. 

For those of you keeping score at home, Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra announced his retirement effective at the end of March, 2017. We broke the story last month.

If you want to apply or read the job description, it’s posted on the city’s website.

Here’s the basic description of the job: Appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager will oversee a full-service organization (including electric, water, sewer, and solar utilities) with 1078.25 FTE’s and 2016/17 total budget of $753.6 million. The ideal candidate is a proven executive leader with experience in economic development and municipal finance/budgeting, as well as an ability to continue the City’s efforts to incorporate community ethics and values into local government operations. A Bachelor’s degree in public/business administration or related field is required; a Master’s degree is highly desirable.

It’s interesting that being responsible for the stadium and its oversight is not listed in the description, although it’s mentioned briefly in a lower paragraph. 

Maybe the city plans on hiring a city manager first. Then, they will find and hire a stadium manager. That could work well, although it might be expensive to find two top-notch people. Or maybe Santa Clara could steal a great city manager from a city with an NFL franchise. There are 31 other ones out there.

It’s also interesting that nowhere in the job description does it say the city manager should have a commitment to open government and transparency. The new mayor and council have made great strides in this area and they should find a new city manager who shares their commitment.

This should be a really attractive job for a city manager. There’s a lot of great things happening in the Mission City. The City Place project is the biggest mixed use project in county history and it will be a new downtown built from scratch. We successfully hosted a Super Bowl in 2016 and will host another one soon. The next city manager will help shape the future of Santa Clara for generations. Let’s hope we land a great one.

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