Alameda appears close to naming a new city manager

When keeping tabs on municipal hirings, such as naming a new city manager, there isn’t much you can do other than read the tea leaves scattered within closed session agendas.

Alameda, which has not had a permanent city manager since the tumultuous and costly parting of ways with former City Manager Jill Keimach last May, has scheduled back-to-back special closed sessions for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, the city announced Thursday.

The sequence of meetings strongly suggests the search for a new city manager is rapidly nearing its end.

Both closed session agendas include references to the hiring of a new city manager. Exactly who may be in line for the position is unknown.

The pair of closed sessions means the Alameda City Council also conducted three such meetings on the subject of city manager within a 12-day period. The sequence of meetings strongly suggests the search for a new city manager is rapidly nearing its end.

In other cities, the nature of the consecutive closed session meetings suggests the council may have already made it selection of a preferred candidate earlier this week. If so, the council may use the first closed session on Jan. 31 to offer the candidate a contract. In the event that person accepts the offer, it is possible the council would announce the identity of the new city manager following the Feb. 1 closed session.

Alameda elected officials, however, will still have another major City Hall position to fill. Alameda has been without a permanent city attorney since early December after the retirement of Janet Kern.