San Leandro names new city manager

San Leandro’s city manager scandal appears put to bed. The San Leandro City Council voted unamiously Thursday to name Jeff Kay as its next city manager. Kay has worked at City Hall since 2009 and was serving as acting city manager following tumult at City Hall leading to the recent departure of Chris Zapata.

“The City Council and I are thrilled to appoint Jeff to serve as our next City Manager,” said Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. “Throughout his time in San Leandro, Jeff has earned the trust of the community, our staff, and the City Council. Jeff approaches public service with integrity, a strong work-ethic, and a community-oriented approach. His institutional knowledge, experience with economic development, and financial acumen make him the ideal candidate to help our community successfully navigate the opportunities and challenges we will face in the coming years.”

Opting for stability, the council moved fast to hire Kay, rather than attempt a regional and national search. Zapata’s last day as city manager was just last Tuesday. The council mades its decision during a special closed session meeting on Thursday.

Although Zapata was reinstated as city manager on June 4—following release of an investigative report that cleared him of wrong doing from claims of sexual harassment by a San Leandro non-profit leader—Kay had been serving as acting city manager since the end of January. Last week, the city and Zapata agreed to a $350,000 separation agreement.

“After the events of the past several months, we are eager to move forward and focus on continuing to provide the high level of services that our residents expect,” said Cutter.

Kay has been employed by the City of San Leandro since 2009. He previously worked as the City’s Business Development Manager, playing a key role in the development of the City’s fiber optic network, the craft brewing cluster, a robust public art program, the Community Workforce Agreement, and multiple successful revenue measures, the city said, in a press release.

“I am honored to have this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work with the City Council, our talented and dedicated staff, and the community,” said Kay. “I am exceedingly optimistic about what the future holds for San Leandro and I’m excited to be a part of our shared success.”

The council will begin negotiations over Kay’s compensation shortly. But due to the August recess, a vote will not occur before Sept. 4, the city said.

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