Special Santa Clara City Council Meeting to Appoint Interim City Manager

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara City Council will meet in closed session tomorrow to appoint an Interim City Manager. Huh?

Former Acting City Manager Rajeev Batra stepped down on January 31, 2023.

And the new City Manager, Jovan Grogan was selected on February 7, 2023. He won’t start in Santa Clara until May.

But the City Council forgot to select someone as the “interim” city manager.  That action should have happened on January 31. Whoops.

According to a knowledgeable source, the City Council majority violated state law by leaving the position vacant, especially in case of emergencies. “But with this Council, what else is new,” said the source.


  1. Why does Santa Clara need a city manager? Managing the city is the job of the Mayor and Council. That’s what they were elected to do; manage the city!

    Some cities operate without a city manager, so it can be done. But these electeds are lazy. Why actually work at the job they were elected to do, when they can kiss babies or cut ribbons, and then go home?

    What makes it much worse is that the city manager is hired by the Mayor and Council — but paid for by the city’s residents. The city manager is an exclusive employee of the Mayor and Council.

    The residents of the city have no say whatever about what we want or need in a city manager, or who the city manager is, or what the manager’s job duties are. We have no say in the manager’s contract, or compensation, or anything else. The job of the city’s residents is to pay the freight, and STFU. (The real job of a city manager is to take the heat when things get screwed up, and to step aside and let the Mayor and Council take the glory when something good happens; which is why the city manager’s compensation is so preposterously excessive).

    The hiring of city managers by city electeds is spreading insidiously. It started in one city, then spread to a few others. Now most city electeds hire someone else to do the job the electeds don’t want to do.

    The pay of these city managers has ratcheted up inexorably, and why wouldn’t it? The electeds who hire them aren’t paying their compensation, which includes buying the manager a house and a car, among other expensive perks. The manager’s compensation is paid by the city’s residents — whether we like it or not.

    This outrageous situation needs to end! The Mayor and City Council needs to start doing the jobs they were elected to do. We didn’t elect them to hire someone else, at our expense, to do the jobs they were elected to do.

    Am I missing something?

    • Smokey said, “Some cities operate without a city manager”. Where please? I ask so I can do some research. Thx!

  2. In a rare moment of city staff bashing, this is on the Clerk’s Office, not the council. After all, this is the Clerk’s job to understand procedures and they should have anticipated this timeline gap. This does not help the council look good.

    • Stop blaming the clerk. 🙄 The interim city attorney should have said something. Isn’t he supposed to know the rules and procedures?

    • Adam – The interim CM is no longer working in SC – sort of hard to “say something” when your gone. And its not his roll anyhow; all city administrators rely on their professional staff (including a team of city attorneys) to keep them informed of legal procedures. This is 100% the clerk’s job in all cities/counties. Please take some time to inform yourself about how our local government works. 🙄

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