Council has selected David White, currently the deputy city manager for Berkeley, as the new City Manager for the City of Santa Monica.
White was selected during a special Thursday meeting by unanimous decision.
“I am excited and humbled to serve the City of Santa Monica as its City Manager,” said White in a statement. “Santa Monica is a wonderful community and I am eager to engage and work closely with the City Council, staff, residents, and businesses implementing City Council’s top priorities — achieving a clean and safe Santa Monica, addressing homelessness, and ensuring an equitable and inclusive economic recovery.”
The announcement Thursday did not include details of White’s contract and Mayor Himmelrich said that information would be part of the Council’s regular meeting on July 27.
“David has a keen understanding of the central issues our like-minded cities face and has demonstrated that he has the experience and spirit of can-do inclusion we need to lead Santa Monica at this critical time,” said Himmelrich in a statement. “We are thrilled to have found a candidate so aligned with our community’s values and impatiently await his arrival so we may begin our collective work.”
The city has been without a permanent chief executive since Rick Cole resigned in April 2020. Then City Attorney Lane Dilg was named as Interim City Manager but she resigned earlier this year to pursue job opportunities with her family out of state. Santa Monica has hired former City Manager John Jalili to serve as interim city manager following Dilg’s last day on June 22.
Council previously tried to hire Rene Bobadilla for the full time position however, he declined the role following the leaking of his name. At that time, City Hall said it had 62 applicants for the position.
According to a statement released by City Hall White is a native Los Angeleno, grew up in Studio City and graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. White will be relocating to Santa Monica with his wife and daughter and looks forward to “coming home” to Southern California.
Prior to working in Berkeley, white was employed as the city manager of Fairfield.
As City Manager, White will oversee a total City budget of $705.5 million and a workforce of 1,923. City Manager White’s employment contract, including an October 11 start date and salary, will be considered at the next Council meeting on July 27.