The search to find Santa Monica’s next City Manager is now underway, and the community is invited to get involved in the process by completing a survey and participating in an upcoming listening session.

Now through April 12, Santa Monica residents are invited share their perspective on the key attributes they would like to see the next City Manager possess by visiting the website www.surveymonkey.com/r/SantaMonicaCM.

After the conclusion of the survey, Ralph Andersen & Associates, which was unanimously selected by City Council back in February to conduct the search for Santa Monica’s first permanent manager since Rick Cole resigned in April 2020, will host a community listening session.

There will be more information released on the listening session later this month, but city staff said residents can find the soon-to-be-released registration information along with recruitment details online at santamonica.gov/city-manager-recruitment.

Mayor Sue Himmelrich also encouraged the community to get involved in the process this week because everybody should have a voice in the matter.

“We value community input as a critical component to identifying the qualities Santa Monica needs in a leader who, with the Council, will see the City through the next stage of its recovery as the pandemic subsides and the economy lifts,” said Himmelrich, who is on Council’s subcommittee for the City Manager recruitment along with Councilmembers Gleam Davis and Oscar de la Torre.

Himmelrich previously highlighted Ralph Andersen & Associates’ rigorous background checking capacities and the firm’s broad network within the state when sharing why she felt the firm was the best fit. During the same conversation, Interim City Manager Lane Dilg added the firm is also responsible for the search for Santa Monica’s new police chief, so the City is currently hoping it will be able to negotiate a more cost-effective price.

“When looking for a city manager, I think that we want a city manager for the long-term and we want that person to provide excellence for the community and continuity,” Dilg said in an interview with the Daily Press shortly after she announced her coming departure from the City.

In early February, Councilmember Kevin McKeown said he agreed with the sentiment.

“We want someone who can understand Santa Monica’s unique characteristics and needs,” he said. “Clearly, our new city manager will be tasked with bringing us back from COVID and its economic struggles as a reinvented community, but at the same time, we want a refreshed and recognizable Santa Monica, not losing our historic identity.”

Brennon@smdp.com