San Leandro City Manager Jeff Kay said on Monday night that he has accepted a similar position in Healdsburg.
Kay made the announcement at Monday night’s San Leandro City Council meeting. He will continue serving as San Leandro city manager through the end of this year.
Kay has been a fixture at San Leandro City Hall since 2009. First, in the city’s Business Development Department, and later, in the city manager’s office.
In the aftermath of a City Hall scandal involving the former city manager and a local non-profit executive, Kay was elevated from assistant city manager to interim city manager in January 2018. He was later named the permanent city manager in July 2018.
Healdsburg, a tourist hamlet in Sonoma’s wine country with a population of about 12,000, is significantly smaller than suburban San Leandro and its roughly 89,000 people.
Kay will also earn a smaller base salary in Healdsburg. Kay’s annual base salary in San Leandro was $262,000 in 2019. He will take home $251,000 in as Healdsburg’s city manager.
During Kay’s short tenure, San Leandro has faced some of its most difficult times in recent years, although, none of it of his own making. San Leandro reacted with revulsion to the fatal shooting of Steven Taylor by a San Leandro police officer last April.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a month later again sparked outrage in the city. The San Leandro City Council later approved cuts to the police department’s budget last June and left the door open for more next spring.
The unrest that followed the Floyd killing led to a night of arson and looting in San Leandro unprecedented in the city’s history. Automobiles were stolen from San Leandro’s Auto Row, and looting occurred in the downtown areas, and the Walmart on Davis Street.