Monday, June 18, 2012

With New Directive, San Leandro Police To Report Directly To Assistant City Manager

[UPDATE] SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | San Leandro's new City Manager Chris Zapata came to the city with a pedigree in grand development projects. With just six months on job, he wants to spend more time of raising the profile of the moribund business community, for now, over other segments of the city.

Zapata plans to drastically remake the city manager office's chain of command, according to a memo for Monday's scheduled City Council meeting. Under the new reporting rules, which do not need to be approved by the council, the city's public safety departments will no longer report to the city manager, but instead, to Assistant City Manager Lianne Marshall.

The change in procedures which will begin July 1, is designed for him to focus on a scope of city projects currently in development, wrote Zapata. In the past, all city departments reported to the city manager, who then reports to the council, mayor and city attorney.

"These changes will provide operational efficiency and allow me to direct my greatest attention to some of our highest priorities at this time," Zapata wrote in the memo to the council and hastened by the loss of its redevelopment agency last year.

Among the city departments continuing to directly report to Zapata are: community development, engineering and transportation, finance and public works. Under the new directive, police and fire will report to Marshall, along with recreation and human services and library services.

Zapata's desire to train the bulk of his time on business development is not surprising. His background as an administrator in Glendale, Ariz. and later in National City, Calif. suggested a strong expertise in the field.

NOTES Monday night, the City Council will also discuss directing staff to draw up an ordinance effectively banning medical marijuana dispensaries and grow-sites from San Leandro. A proposed $1.5 million loan from the city to the school district to purchase the soon-to-be-vacant Girls, Inc. building on East 14th Street will also be heard, along with further details on the merging of OSIsoft's expansion as it includes the nearby remaking of the San Leandro Crossings housing project at the San Leandro BART station.

UPDATE During Monday's night's meeting, Zapata said the change in reporting is a city manager's prerogative and was influenced by the community's concerns. "We are listening for what your goals are," said Zapata. There is no time line for how long the new reporting arrangement will last, he added.


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