The San Mateo City Council opted last night to stay in-house to fill the interim city manager’s job by giving it to Larry Patterson, the city’s public works director and 13-year employee.
Patterson will take over the job from Susan Loftus, who retires from the city after serving it for 25 years, the last five as city manager. Loftus retires Nov. 1 and Patterson will start his new job Oct. 15.
Patterson will work alongside Loftus for two weeks to help facilitate a smooth transition as he prepares for his new role.
“He’s a dynamic leader and personable individual. He has a vision on how to take the city through the interim and maybe beyond. I can think of no one better for the job,” said Mayor David Lim last night.
The council approved the appointment on a 4-0 vote with Councilman Brandt Grotte being absent from last night’s council meeting.
Councilwoman Maureen Freschet said she was pleased someone “internal” would lead the city through the transition.
The appointment is for at least six months and his annual salary would be about $222,000.
Patterson currently oversees a department of about 130 employees with a budget of about $25 million annually or more depending on capital projects the city undertakes.
The city has about 500 employees with a total budget of about $160 million.
Patterson’s appointment comes shortly after the hiring of Rory Walsh as the city’s interim community development director and a council decision to hire an auditor to probe the city’s CDD. Walsh replaces Lisa Grote, whose last day with the city is today.
The CDD has hit some bumps of late, including Grote’s departure, the resignation of two other key Planning Division employees and the decision to conduct a management audit. Both came after the City Council ruled that the controversial 7-Eleven on San Mateo Drive was erroneously permitted to operate and the city was sued.
Patterson studied civil engineering and has an extensive public and private sector experience.
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