Alameda adds last piece to revamped City Hall after naming new city attorney

Alameda City Hall.

Change at Alameda City Hall is now complete. Last December, a new mayor and two councilmembers reshaped the City Council with a distinctive progressive tilt. In February, Eric Levitt was named city manager, filling a post unoccupied by a permanent replacement since last May.

On Tuesday, the city filled it last major opening by announcing the hiring of Yibin Shen as city attorney.

Shen replaces Janet Kern, who retired last December after serving the last seven years as Alameda city attorney. Shen was previously the chief deputy city attorney in Santa Monica.

The council is set to formally approve Shen’s employment at its Mar. 19 meeting. His first day is scheduled for May 13.

For a city like Alameda, which has been embroiled in a housing crisis for several years, Shen’s experience in Santa Monica, one of the most progressive cities in the state in terms of rental housing protections, may be useful.

Just last week, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office celebrated three legal victories, including two convictions, against violators of the city’s short-term rental ordinances.

“The City of Santa Monica has consistently dedicated policies and resources toward producing, protecting, and preserving housing in our community,” Shen told the Santa Monica Daily Press. “These convictions and the appellate win represent just outcomes and further affirms these important legislative goals.”

He was previously a Land Use and Labor and Employment attorney.

Shen will earned an annual salary of $247,000, in addition, to $16,000 in relocation expenses.

This is the second time in the past month that Alameda has looked to Southern California to fill a key position at City Hall. Incoming Alameda City Manager Eric Levitt was hired from Simi Valley last month. Levitt’s first day on the job is April 12.

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