REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. – Redwood City announced today that the Council will appoint Aaron Aknin as Interim City Manager to lead the organization while a formal recruitment for the top management spot continues. The appointment is scheduled for the Council meeting of June 22, 2015. Current City Manager Dr. Robert Bell (Bob) announced his retirement from the City of Redwood City at the end of February and since then the Mayor and City Council have launched a formal recruitment process to search for his replacement. The recruitment will continue after Dr. Bell’s last day which is June 28, 2015.
Aaron Aknin was appointed Assistance City Manager of Redwood City in March. Aknin previously served as the City of Redwood City’s Community Development Director and will retain this position, in addition to supervising citywide operations and initiatives.
“Redwood City is a very progressive and engaged community that demands strong leadership,” said Jeff Gee, mayor of Redwood City. “The recruitment for city manager continues and as a City Council we are taking deliberate steps to find the right leader for the long-term success of the organization. During this interim period, Aaron has the right mix of leadership and management experience to balance the needs of the organization and the community.”
“Aaron is respected within the organization and the community. He will add tremendous value and stability during this transition,” said Rosanne Foust, vice mayor of Redwood City. “We thank Aaron for his service to Redwood City and for stepping in to lead the organization.”
Prior to joining the City of Redwood City, Aknin served as the Assistant Director and Acting Director of Planning and Community Environment for the City of Palo Alto. Prior to that he was Community Development Director for the City of San Bruno and served as Assistant Planner for the City of San Carlos.
Aknin holds a Master of Public Policy from California State University Northridge and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), an American Planning Association Member and Mentor, an Urban Land Institute Member, and an International Conference of Shopping Centers Member (ICSC).
The City of Redwood City will hold a formal good-bye reception for Dr. Bell prior to their City Council meeting on June 22, 2015. The celebration will be held at Redwood City’s City Hall and begin at 6:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend the reception and the City Council meeting.
Bell has held leadership positions within the City of Redwood City for the past ten years and first came to the City in September 2005 as Human Resources Director. He has served as Assistant City Manager, and then City Manager, since 2010. Bell led the City of Redwood City out of the worst economic downturn in decades and implemented the City Council’s vision for economic growth and financial solvency. Recently, Bell recommended a balanced city budget to enhance various city services including police, library, and code enforcement programs. The budget, unanimously approved in early June, includes a $30M Capital Improvement Program to support 58 infrastructure projects within Redwood City. In addition, under Bob’s leadership a new organizational structure was implemented and several key department head positions filled; this included the hiring of Police Chief JR Gamez, Community Development Director Aaron Aknin, and more recently Library Director Derek Wolfgram and Public Works Director Ramana Chinnakotla.
About Redwood City
The City of Redwood City is located in the middle of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, extending from the San Francisco shoreline to the hillsides of the Santa Cruz Mountains. With over 76,815 residents, Redwood City is the third largest city within the County of San Mateo and boasts the ‘Climate Best by Government Test’ (the city slogan). Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City is home to the San Mateo County History Museum, the only active deep water Port within the South San Francisco Bay, and a vibrant downtown offering residents, visitors and businesses a unique retail, entertainment and restaurant experience. For more information visit the City of Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org or follow us on Twitter @RedwoodCity.