Santa Clara Hires New CM

At last night’s council meeting, the City of Santa Clara hired Julio Fuentes to be their new City Manager.  Mr. Fuentes comes from the City of Alhambra, where he worked as their CM for 20 years.

Compensation for Mr. Fuentes will be $290,000 per year, plus a $29k moving allowance, $6400 car allowance, and participation in a deferred compensation program.  And all of this is on top of Santa Clara’s requirement that employees take mandatory unpaid furlough days – Santa Clara has had serious problems with the recession and had to implement furloughs across all bargaining units to minimize layoffs.

I point this out because this is a reflection of the very small recruiting pool that Sunnyvale competes in for the better City Manager candidates, as well as a reflection of just how valuable to a city’s operation the City Manager truly is.  Santa Clara has about 120k people, roughly 16% smaller in population and 20% smaller in area than Sunnyvale.  Alhambra, the city Mr. Fuentes comes from, has about 83,000 people and a total annual budget that’s about a third of Sunnyvale’s.

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