Alameda welcomes new city manager with unanimous vote

Alameda’s next city manager, Eric Levitt, was unanimously approved last week by the City Council. Now he’s looking for a place in Alameda to live.

“We are very excited to both becoming part of the community and also work with you to advance the mission of the city,” Levitt told the council at its Feb. 19 meeting.

During the visit last week, Levitt met with department heads and staff in Alameda. He will return next month for the council’s workshop on goals and priorities.

Levitt previously served the last five years as city manager in Simi Valley, Calif. His tenure in Alameda begins April 12. He plans on living in Alameda, Levitt told the council.

“I’m just really excited to have someone that we agree on and are all very excited about coming here,” said Councilmember John Knox White. “Those of you who have watched politics for decades in this city, know that is not always the case. I think we have a great selection here. I think he brings a lot of experience here.”

Prior to Simi Valley, Levitt worked for the city of Sedona, Ariz. and Janesville, Wis. The latter highlighted by several councilmembers for its revalence to Alameda and its development of Alameda Point.

During Levitt’s time in Janesville, the city was force to react to the closing of its General Motors auto plant. A somewhat similar forced transformation came to Alameda by the federal government’s decision two decades ago to close the Alameda Naval Air Station.

Over in Simi Valley, Levitt’s departure from the Southern California city was met with some dissatisfaction from its mayor, precisely due to the timing of the decision to leave for Alameda.

Simi Valley Mayor Keith Mashburn told the Ventura County Star, he would have appreciated a heads up from Levitt that he intended to leave for another city. “I was quite surprised,” Mashburn told the newspaper, adding the city was heading into its budget season.

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