Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal, who is set to retire later this year after 24 years at the city.
(Courtesy city of Santa Cruz)
Government

With Bernal’s departure, Santa Cruz officials ask residents ‘What do you want in your next city manager?’

Want to weigh in on “the most important issues facing the city and the key attributes” you hope to see in Santa Cruz’s next top administrator. You’ve got until May 1 to do so, and here’s how:

With the retirement of longtime Santa Cruz City Manager Martín Bernal forthcoming, the city is looking for a new face to head its staff. And it’s asking city residents to assist in the nationwide search process.

In order to find the best fit — with help from search firm Teri Black & Company — the city is asking residents to take a survey to identify “the most important issues facing the city and the key attributes they hope to see” in Bernal’s replacement. The survey is also available in Spanish.

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Community input will be accepted until May 1, after which time the nationwide search will begin. Mayor Donna Meyers, Vice Mayor Sonja Brunner and councilmember Renee Golder are serving on a panel to help vet candidates, working alongside the search firm.

Recruitment will continue into June, when the city will conduct interviews and the city council will make its selection. Final reviews, including background and reference checks, will occur in July.

The city’s goal is to appoint a new top administrator in August.

Santa Cruz operates under a Council-Manager form of government. In this system, the city council sets policies by passing ordinances and resolutions, including the city budget. Bernal’s position, the city manager, oversees day-to-day administrative operations and supervises Santa Cruz’s 750 staff members, plus 400 temporary workers in the summer.

Take Action

How to take the survey

The survey to help Santa Cruz leaders find Martín Bernal’s replacement will be available until May 1.

To take it in English, click here.

To take it in Spanish, click here.

Bernal announced in late February that he would leave his post at the end of July after a decade at the helm of city administration, and 24 total years of working for the city.

Bernal, who is in his mid-50s, will end his time at the city being paid a salary of $233,625, plus benefits.

Before being hired in Santa Cruz, he worked for four years as assistant to the city manager of Mountain View, and as a senior executive assistant to the San Jose city manager. Before that, he worked as an environmental specialist.