When Business Development Manager Dave Johnson resigned at the end of 2011, many wondered whether Menlo Park would leave the position vacant to save on staff costs.
The first to hold that title in the city, Mr. Johnson served eight years, and saw the arrival of numerous companies, such as the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel and Spa, Amici's and, of course, Facebook.
Now City Manager Alex McIntyre has confirmed that the city's seeking a replacement to help strengthen the local economy.
"With the adoption of the Downtown Plan, there is certainly opportunity to operationalize the plan and enhance the vibrancy in the downtown. Perhaps equally important is the chance to work with existing property owners in the City's commercial/industrial area (more or less along the 101) to strengthen the financial condition there," he told the Almanac in an email.
He said Facebook probably presents the greatest opportunity. "It can be argued that the eco-system that will develop as a result of Facebook's presence is something that the City should encourage and make sure that as those new companies begin to pop up, we can adequately site them in our community."
The workload might be too much for one person, Mr. McIntyre said, but the city's budget won't stretch farther than that.
"Of course, all of this is to be done in concert with what the City Council and community expects," he said.
The salary maxes out at $129,000 for the job, according to the city, with retirement benefits provided under Measure L provisions: a minimum retirement age of 60 and pension benefits at 2 percent of an employee's highest annual salary averaged over three years.
About 100 candidates applied for the position by last week's deadline "unfortunately many who were not qualified," Mr. McIntyre noted -- and the city plans to start interviewing next week. "We have a number of interesting candidates so we will see how they might fit with the City's needs."
He declined to comment when asked if the applicants included Harry Mavrogenes, the former head of San Jose's redevelopment agency.