City Council Review: Rajeev Batra Appointed Part-Time Interim City Manager; Law Firm Appointed “Interim City Attorney”

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara City Council held another late meeting last night. 

The Council voted 5-2 to appoint Rajeev Batra as Interim City Manager. He starts today.

He will be paid approximately $445,000 annually to work only 960 hours in a fiscal year as a “retired annuitant.” However, he cannot work more than 160 hours per month. Sources tell us that past City Managers were averaging over 60 hours a week. Wow. 

The attorney advising the City Council, Gary Baum, says Batra assures that can do the job in a 40-hour workweek. Yesterday’s meeting was about eight hours. That means Batra will work less than full-time during weeks with Council meetings. Ouch.

Santa Clara now has a part-time City Manager after the 49er Five fired former City Manager Deanna Santana.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe voted against the appointment.

Gilmor said her issue was that no one else was included on the “short-list” of candidates. Only Batra was interviewed by the full Council. 

Watanabe had “serious reservations” about the process. 

The Council also approved a contract with Bob Murray Associates for a not-to-exceed amount of $45,000 for executive recruiting services for the City Manager position. The search will be nationwide. We ponder who in their right mind would want to even apply for the job. Watanabe opposed this item.

The Council approved a $300,000 contract with Lozano Smith LLP to serve as “interim City Attorney.” Yes, a law firm will represent the City. Apparently, no one wants the job.

Other items:

  • During public presentation, over two dozen people spoke in support of reopening the Santa Clara PAL BMX track. The track was closed recently. This topic will be on the April 19 Council agenda.
  • It was announced by the Chief Emergency Services Officer Lisa Schoenthal that the April 19 Council meeting will return to an in-person hybrid format.
interim City manager Rajeev Batra

7 comments

  1. So residents are paying for interim city atty, interim city mgr, recruiters, past CM and when will doyle get his due?

    This is the gang that can’t shoot straight. And the gang that cut PD due to budget and almost cut FD.Their priorities are costing residents undo costs.Then again they are working for the 49ers.

    For shame.

  2. The article is wrong, they took the hourly salary and annualized it to 2080 hours per year to determine the total salary. More media BS… $214 per hour x 960 hours max = $205,440 max annual salary, about 1/4 of the previous City Manager salary

    • The per hour pay is equivalent to what the last city manager made. The yearly salary is to compare to an annual salary — the interim city manager is essentially working part time, but getting paid almost the exact same hourly pay as those before him.

      A full time City manager at 40 hours a week equates to nearly 2,000 hours a year. 960 hours is part time – therefore the total annual pay seems less as it’s simply not equivalent to full time.

    • The article is correct Thomas. Basic math – 2080 x $214 = $445,000 equivalent, or $220,000 for the first 6 months under his contract. This is the SAME as prior city manger. What’s missing is the $350,000 benefits package.

  3. So 960 work hours for $445k? If you do the math that’s more than our prior City Manager made. Great job 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

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