Berkeley Mayor’s Chief of Staff leaves post after one year

Judith Iglehart, Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Berkeley, will participate in Startup Berkeley on March 5th

Judith Iglehart, who has left her post as Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Berkeley

Judith Iglehart, who was appointed Chief of Staff to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates in January 2012, has left her post to pursue a job opportunity in the private sector.

Mayor Bates said he was sorry to see Iglehart go as she had done good work in helping the office analyze opportunities for economic development  in the city, in particular for new-business startups.

“She leaves as a friend,” he said, citing the former staffer’s valuable work on the “nitty gritty” of how to get businesses started. “I am really pleased to have been offered an understanding of what we can do in that area,” he said on Monday Jan. 7.

Iglehart, who had not returned calls at press time, is believed to be starting a new company with a friend.

Before being employed by the City of Berkeley, Iglehart worked for the Keiretsu Forum, a network of angel investors.

Her career includes several stints working for the University of California — including as chief research development officer in 2003, and deputy senior vice president for business and finance at UC’s Office of the President from 1996 to 2000. Bates said Iglehart’s insights into the university had also been useful while she was working as his Chief of Staff.

Bates does not know whether Iglehart will be replaced. “We are reshuffling the office,” he said, adding that Iglehart had been largely absent from city hall during his recent re-election campaign due to a long recovery necessitated by a double knee operation. “We are reconfiguring and will create new positions,” he said.

Iglehart replaced Julie Sinai, who left Mayor Bates’ office after nine years to become UC Berkeley’s director of local government and community relations.

Startup Berkeley: What does it take to make it in Berkeley? [03.06.12]
Iglehart brings startup education experience to City Hall [01.11.12]
Judith Iglehart becomes new chief of staff to Mayor Bates [01.05.12]

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  • Biker 94703

    As an employee of a startup (not in town), I’d love to know how many startups were created during the past year. Failing that, I’d love to know any concrete steps the City has taken.

  • The Sharkey

    Was she there long enough to get a pension?

  • guest

    “I am really pleased to have been offered an understanding of what we can do in that area.”

    Anyone who truthfully says this should be ineligible to be the mayor of any town.

  • anonymous

    Something to ponder: when someone is in the U.S. House of Representatives of the U.S. Senate, even if appointed to finish a term for someone else and in office a few months — they get a lifetime pension of $174,000 a year. It’s not quite that bad in Berkeley but I would like to know if this chick scored a Berkeley city pension for her fairly short stint working with the city.

  • Kevin
  • guest-12


  • Gus

    Wow, those sour grapes sure must be tasty. Two months later and you’re still gobbling them down.

  • guest

    Right. A mayor who doesn’t know how to attract business to the town. Anyone’s cup of hemlock.

  • The Sharkey

    Want to attract start-up businesses? Have cheap multi-use space with lax zoning within a short distance of mass transit and offer free legal assistance and paperwork handholding.

    Can I haz cushy pension plz?

  • Gus

    I don’t know if you, like, read the news or anything, but mere weeks ago a developer announced plans for a $200 million project downtown. The developer specifically cited the Downtown Area Plan, which, you may be surprised to learn, was a Tom Bates Joint. We’ve a spike in biz starts in West Berkeley thanks to last year’s zoning amendments, also pushed by the Bates cabal. Bates pushed for more development in West Berkeley, but was rebuffed by the voters. We have a new destination grocery store that is the envy of foodie culture throughout the Western hemisphere and is providing over a hundred jobs and millions in local tax revenue.

    I think it’s time you stopped being so pissed off that the downtown Ross closed. Given that even that storefront has a tenant now, on what basis could you possibly claim that Bates doesn’t know how to attract business?

  • The Sharkey

    Unless I’m missing something Bates is the one saying he didn’t know how to attract business to town and needed to hire Ms. Iglehart to tell him.

    And I like Berkeley Bowl West, but you seem to be forgetting that the great majority of grocery items (particularly the sort Berkeley Bowl specializes in) are not taxed in California.

  • Gus

    You mean like the Skydeck? Or QB3? Or Berkeley Ventures? Or The Hub? You have a really great idea that lots of people already thought of. Send in your resume and we’ll be sure to get back to you just as soon as we possibly can…

  • The Sharkey

    I think you missed the point, Gus. Why did Bates need to hire someone to tell him what everybody already knows?

  • Gis

    Hmmm, well, you make a strong case. But for me, I’m going to go with his decade-long record rather than an awkward single-sentence quote on a web site.

  • The Sharkey

    Again, missing the point. This is about the abrupt departure of his Chief of Staff who doesn’t seem to have done a whole lot during her tenure, not Bates’ record.

  • Gus

    Uhhh, well, I’m fairly certain that offering analysis so blindingly obvious that even loudmouths on the Internet think they came up with it does not represent the entire portfolio of the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. There’s also the minor business of running a city of 100,000 souls, hosting one of the most important institutions of higher learning in the U.S., contributing to the one of the largest regional economies on earth, etc. But if you think it sounds easy, by all means, send in that resume. Lots of anonymous people on this forum claim that serving as a public employee is quite lucrative.

  • Gus

    “…but mere weeks ago a developer announced plans for a $200 million project downtown….”

  • The Sharkey

    Have you seen her name specifically tied to that development? Or is that a result of the Downtown Action plan that Berkeley voters approved in 2010, two years before she was hired?

  • The Sharkey

    Did Ms. Iglehart run a city of 100,000 souls? I thought that was the Mayor’s job?
    If Ms. Iglehart was running Berkeley, what did we need Mayor Bates for?

  • Gus

    Sales tax is not the only revenue generated by local businesses. There’s property tax, parking lot tax, BLT, etc. The act of employing people generates revenue. And not to be pedantic, but BB sells a ton of prepared food and high-end wine and beerm, which is all subject to sales tax.

    You might want to hold off on sending in that resume. Maybe you’re not qualified to be Tom’s Chief of Staff.

  • Gus

    Right, I’m sure the Mayor’s Chief of Staff had nothing to do with the $200 million project slated for downtown Berkeley. She was probably getting her nails done that day. Projects of that magnitude are a dime a dozen. They put themselves together.

  • The Sharkey

    Wow, I can’t believe it took you an hour to reply to the comment about taxes. You’re getting rusty, Gus.

  • The Sharkey

    So basically no, you haven’t seen her name specifically tied to that development, which is the result of a measure passed well before she was ever hired, but you don’t want to admit it or try to dig around to see if you can find anything.


  • Gus

    Sweetheart, I think you need to turn off the cable news, log off of B-side, and do a little reading about municipal governance. HSR bought the building for $20 million in October. She’s the mayor’s chief of staff and a business development expert with a career spanning three decades. The proposition that Iglehart sat on her thumbs while a corporate developer proposed a transformative project for downtown is, in a word, ludicrous.

  • The Sharkey

    So still no, huh? ‘Cause I mean, I haven’t seen a lot of major shakeups in the way Berkeley tries to attract new business since she’s had the position or news of any kind come with her name attached to it. If you’ve got something, please share!

    Funny how Bates making a dopy comment to the press saying that he couldn’t figure out how to attract business to Berkeley without her help is what set all this off.

  • A Kingdom in our Midst

    I think the real story here is not about Ms. Iglehart, but the revolving door between the University and the Mayor’s Office. Not exactly a recipe for Town exerting more control over Gown, or extracting any kind of meaningful PILOT fees. Of course, ultimately this needs to be addressed at the state level, by reducing the Regents power.

  • Guest

    Dear Gus & Sharkey,

    Get a chat room already…
    leave room for others to comment.


  • 4Eenie

    I don’t mind their point/counter-points.

  • Akshat

    that,s great every one can get the job opertunity by this.

  • PragmaticProgressive

    It’s actually an interesting read.

  • The Sharkey

    One fun thing about Disqus is that comment threads can go on almost indefinitely! So anybody can write as much as they want and never “use up” the space! Isn’t that cool?

    If you have comments, please make them. No one is stopping you but yourself.

  • Bill N

    Interesting may be stretching the point but fun anyway.

  • EBGuy

    BO’M at the Daily Planet has an epic op-ed (Jan. 11) on this, and other topics, including the development of downtown. It, among other things, discusses the one time she found herself agreeing with Snarkey — whom she affectionately refers to as BS’s Number One airhead. Note to The Sharkey, I don’t think she appreciated the time you shooed her away. Gus gets a dishonorable mention as a windy fellow. She does have a nice riff on the finer points of catering an election kickoff event.