The Los Altos City Council voted to appoint Danville Assistant Town Manager Marcia Somers to be the next Los Altos City Manager Tuesday night.
Her first day is Monday April 2, replacing retiring City Manager Douglas J. Schmitz, who retires at the end of March.
“Her management style fits our community well, and her experience in developing civic facilities will enable her to implement our existing plans, while bringing fresh ideas and perspective to the City,” Mayor Val Carpenter wrote in a statement after the City Council's regular meeting.
Los Altos' next big project is developing the civic center complex, for which Somers' experience will be very useful, Carpenter has said.
Somers has served as Assistant Town Manager of Danville, July 2006, but has worked for Danville since 1993.
During her 19-year tenure in Danville, Somers provided leadership to "virtually every part of the Town organization," according the council's memo describing the selection. Somers served as Project Manager for the design and construction of a number of capital projects, including the development of a 17-acre Town/County community park, renovation of the historic Village Theatre, and restoration of the Veterans Memorial Building and its expansion into a shared-use facility with a Senior Center in the downtown retail district.
Prior to Danville, Somers worked for the City of Sunnyvale for eight years. Her professional experience includes management and executive-level positions with non-profit agencies in Santa Clara County and the City and County of San Francisco. Somers is a graduate of San Francisco State University and holds a a Master of Public Administration from California State University - Hayward.
“I am excited by the opportunity to bring to life the plans that the City of Los Altos has so carefully laid during the past four years,” Somers stated. “Los Altos is a wonderful city similar in many ways to Danville as well as to Campbell, where my family and I have lived for 29 years.
I look forward to getting to know the Los Altos community better and to working together to maintain and foster Los Altos as a great place to live and to raise a family.”
The firm, William Avery & Associates, Inc. of Los Gatos, CA was retained to manage the recruitment process, as they did five years ago for the search that brought Schmitz to Los Altos.
The City’s senior staff, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and the Los Altos Village Association also provided input as the consultants developed the ideal candidate profile and position description. Over 60 candidates were identified and screened.
Seven semi-finalists recommended by Avery & Associates were interviewed by the Los Altos City Council; four finalists were selected to be interviewed by panels of staff and community members as well as by the Los Altos City Council a second time. In addition to reference and background checks conducted by Avery & Associates, the Los Altos City Council interviewed 15 Town staff, Council and community members in Danville before selecting Somers.