Marcia Somers, Danville's Assistant Town Manager, has been tapped as Los Altos' next city manager.
Her $196,000, five-year contract appears on the agenda for the Feb. 28 meeting of Los Altos City Council, which has been searching for a new city manager since Doug Schmitz .
Somers, a 29-year Campbell resident, would take over April 2, assuming the council votes to approve the contract on Tuesday night.
"Everything came together in the right place, at the right time," said Somers, who, after six years as assistant town manager, was looking for a new opportunity in a community that fit her broad range of experience.
One thing she probably won't miss is her commute. A 29-year resident of Campbell, Somers is a road warrior and a veteran of I-880, I-680 and probably a few back routes to Danville. Somers made the 45-mile drive every day for nearly two decades because "this community is worth it."
Technically, Somers' residence is located West San Jose, but, she says it's surrounded by Campbell. The whole neighborhood has a Campbell postal address and all her children attended Campbell schools and participated in Campbell Recreation.
"And we've loved living in Campbell," she says. "It's another community not unlike Los Altos, in the sense of having a downtown and sense of community. The community center in Campbell is quite a impressive complex and it's nice to have those gathering places... "
Since 1993, Somers has worked for the town of Danville, a well-heeled 42,000-population community, which, like Los Altos, values its rural beginnings and has an active base of volunteers who are engaged in civic life.
Somers joined Danville town staff in 1993 as Community Services Director, and the Los Altos City Council took note that during her 19-year tenure, "Somers provided leadership to virtually every part of the Town organization," according to the contract memo.
City Council member Ron Packard said that when the council members swooped into Danville to see what Somers had done, they were impressed with how she had helped transform downtown Danville into a vital district.
According to the council memo, Somers' experience comprises serving as project manager for the design and construction of a number of capital projects, including the development of a 17-acre Town/County community park, renovation of the historic , the inclusion of , and restoration of the and its expansion into a shared-use facility with a Senior Center located in the downtown retail district.
She is proud of those projects, she said, because they give the community great places to come together.
"Los Altos will be getting someone who is truly outstanding in every sense of the word," said Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.
"Anyone who has seen Marcia in action knows that this is a step that she has been ready and qualified to take for some time.”
Somers worked for the City of Sunnyvale for eight years before her tenure in Danville. Her professional experience includes management and executive-level positions with non-profit agencies in Santa Clara County and the City and County of San Francisco. Somers has taught graduate courses in strategic planning, fiscal management and organizational development issues in public, non-profit and private organizations at San Francisco State University and San Jose State University for over 20 years, according to the memo.
Somers has a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a Master of Public Administration from California State University - Hayward (now CSU-East Bay).
She calls her departure from Danville "bittersweet."
Danville Patch Editor Terry Parris Jr. contributed to this report.
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