Christine Daniel, Berkeley’s city manager since May 2012, will be leaving in July to become assistant city administrator in neighboring Oakland. Daniel became acting city manager when Phil Kamlarz retired in November 2011, and was appointed to the city’s top role by the City Council six months later. Daniel worked for the city for 15 years.
In her resignation letter, Daniel paid tribute to what she described as the “unique character of this wonderful place.”
“We are fortunate to have such an engaged, thoughtful City Council who are devoted to this community and are willing to address the tough issues facing cities today,” Daniel wrote. “Berkeley is filled with creative, passionate people who are not afraid to try something new or to challenge conventional wisdom, while at the same time remaining committed to preserving the unique character of this wonderful place.”
“The news that Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel is leaving to become Assistant City Administrator in Oakland means that Berkeley will be losing a highly valued, dedicated public servant,” said Mayor Tom Bates in a press release this afternoon. “But while I’m disappointed for Berkeley’s sake, I want to congratulate Ms. Daniel and am happy that Oakland will be gaining one of the most capable civic administrators I’ve had the pleasure to work with. And I am glad that Ms. Daniel will have the opportunity to apply her skills to new challenges.”
During her tenure as city manager, Daniel oversaw Berkeley’s 1,400 city employees. Her departure is the latest in a string of high-level shifts in Berkeley. Deputy City Manager William Rogers left in September 2014 to become COO for Goodwill Enterprises in San Francisco (he was replaced by Dee Williams-Ridley in January 2015). Finance Director Robert Hicks also left in 2014. He has not yet been replaced (Daniel has been handling the finance responsibilities). Berkeley Police Capt. Erik Upson left to become police chief in Benicia in April 2015. Jane Micallef, director of the Health, Housing & Community Services Department, left last month.
As city manager, Daniel in 2013 was paid a salary of $225,000 plus benefits of $76,800. The assistant city administrator in Oakland in 2013 received nearly the same package: $218,000 in salary and $79,000 in benefits.
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