Sunnyvale: Deanna Santana Selected as New City Manager

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Following a national search for Sunnyvale’s next city manager, the City Council voted to appoint Deanna Santana to the position during its April 29 meeting. The Council first voted to appoint Santana as city manager (6 – 1, Councilmember Jim Davis dissenting) and then voted to approve her contract (6 – 1, Councilmember Pat Meyering dissenting).

“We expected top-notch choices and Sunnyvale’s rigorous recruitment process delivered a highly talented pool of candidates,” stated Mayor Jim Griffith. “Deanna clearly stood out through five interview panels that included 30 community and employee representatives.”

Santana, a Bay Area native, most recently served as City Administrator in Oakland and Deputy City Manager in San Jose. In Oakland, she is credited with working with the Mayor and City Council to stabilize the organization and strategically restore essential services after years of fiscal uncertainty. She led the organization through unprecedented events, improved and restructured service delivery approaches, improved Oakland’s fiscal management and planning, and delivered economic development projects to revitalize key areas within the city all while ensuring the city’s goals matched the community’s values and character. During her tenure there, she was recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the most influential women in business, received the 2012 Powerful Women of the Bay Award, was named the City of Oakland Employee of the Year by the Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown Community Benefit Districts and was selected as the Bay Area’s Most Courageous City Official by the East Bay Express.

Santana held several executive positions in San Jose before becoming Deputy City Manager, serving as a key architect for some of the city’s largest economic growth and public infrastructure investments including San Jose’s Economic Development Strategy, Green Vision Strategy, Open Government Initiative and “Decade of Investment” that represented the nation’s largest capital improvement program at the time. As Deputy City Manager, she led San Jose’s largest service areas – environment and utility services and public safety services.

“At the epicenter of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale has long been the benchmark to measure innovation and best practices in local government,” said Santana. “It has maintained its reputation for being well-managed and fiscally responsible for decades and particularly through the global recession. I feel deeply honored to be appointed by the City Council to continue with this tradition as Sunnyvale’s next city manager. I look forward to working with the City Council, employees, residents and stakeholders to maintain these achievements and sound practices.”

“Deanna has demonstrated incredible talent and enthusiasm for city management and the highest level of integrity,” said Councilmember Dave Whittum. “She is a perfect match for our needs with her roots in Silicon Valley, academic background in urban planning, experience with economic development and commitment to community outreach.”

Mayor Griffith also emphasized the city manager’s role in setting and guiding the city’s strategic vision. “We wanted a city manager who could leverage Sunnyvale’s solid fiscal and planning foundation and work with the Council and community to envision and implement the next phase of Sunnyvale’s future. The timing couldn’t be better.”

Santana succeeds Gary Luebbers who retired in December 2013 after five years as city manager in Sunnyvale. Under her employment contract approved by the Council, Santana will receive an annual salary of $264,045 and other compensation benefits. Her scheduled start date is June 2.

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