After 15 months as an interim city manager, Council has successfully hired current Berkeley deputy city director, David White, and established his terms and conditions.
On July 27, councilors unanimously approved White’s town manager contract, which included a salary of $ 340,000, seven months of rent allowance of $ 3,000, and nine months of severance pay on fixed terms.
White, who will begin his job on October 11, declined to speak to the Daily Press, citing a busy schedule as he finished his job at Berkeley and was preparing to move with his wife.
White’s salary is similar to former City Manager Rick Cole’s salary. Starting July 2022, White’s salary will be adjusted annually by the same percentage of the salary increases granted to Executive Compensation Plan participants for that fiscal year.
In addition to rental support and moving expenses, White is eligible for a $ 1.5 million home loan from the city at a fixed rate of 3.5 percent. White is not required to live in Santa Monica, but the employment contract states that it is both his preference and that of the council. White receives CalPERS retirement benefits.
Councilor Phil Brock asked staff if White’s contract salary was the same as that of city managers in cities of similar size. Interim City Prosecutor George Cardona confirmed this and the council made no further comments or questions.
In a statement released on July 22nd, Mayor Sue Himmelrich said: “David has a keen understanding of the key issues facing our like-minded cities and has shown that he has the experience and spirit of can-do inclusion that we need to run Santa Monica at this critical time. We are delighted to have found a candidate who is so in tune with the values of our community and we are eagerly awaiting his arrival so that we can begin our work together. “
Before White took up his assistant manager position at Berkeley in 2019, he was City Manager at Fairfield for five years. Both cities have a population similar to that of Santa Monica.
White has a background in finance as an investment banker and finance director at Fairfield. He is expected to play a key role in Santa Monica’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
A native of Angeleno, White holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from UCLA and a master’s degree from MIT in urban planning.
As City Manager, White will oversee a total budget of $ 705.5 million and a workforce of 1,923 people.
The approval of White’s contract marks the end of a six-month process to fill the position of city manager, which has received 64 applications. The city council initially elected Montebello City Manager Rene Bobadilla, but Montebello City Council got wind of it through a press leak and persuaded Bobadilla to stay with a raise of $ 68,500.
John Jalili took over the role of interim city manager after the departure of interim city manager Lane Dilg on June 24th. Jalili will hold this position until he begins his permanent position on October 11th.