Almanac

News - June 5, 2013

Menlo Park briefs: Cityhires assistant for the city manager

Not to be confused with the assistant city manager, Clay Curtin has been hired to be Menlo Park's new assistant to the city manager, sources told the Almanac.

Mr. Curtin spent nearly four years as the senior management analyst for the city of Manhattan Beach before starting his position with Menlo Park on June 3. His background includes working, with a similar job title, for West Covina, and degrees in public administration, according to an online newsletter for city managers.

Menlo Park will pay him $99,599 annually. City Manager Alex McIntyre said Mr. Curtin will oversee special functions and projects, such as the new Belle Haven police substation, work plans for the city's commissions, staff performance measures and policy updates.

"We have needed the capacity all along. Clay could not join us at a better time since the City remains without a Finance Director, IT Manager and City Clerk," Mr. McIntyre said in an email.

Although the city manager has added other new hires in recent months, he's also facing an outflow of senior staff. In the past 12 months nine department directors and managers have left — a police chief, police commander, finance director, city clerk, housing and redevelopment manager, senior transportation engineer, information technology manager, senior civil engineer and a librarian, according to Director of Human Resources Gina Donnelly.

Mr. McIntyre has asked the council to consider salary increases for city staff as part of its budget deliberations, in part to maintain Menlo Park's ability to attract good employees.

How large a role salary and other benefits played in the recent departures remains unknown, but two former employees told the Almanac that money wasn't a consideration. By going to other public agencies, at least one had actually taken a cut in retirement benefits.

Extreme traffic delays predicted for pipeline project

The week of June 24 will be marked by construction crews grinding asphalt and paving portions of Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, according to city staff.

Pacific Gas and Electric started replacing a 24-inch gas pipeline on Sand Hill Road near Branner Drive last August. While the work crews will start the final phase of the project by grinding pavement at night, the repaving will have to take place during the day, Menlo Park Public Works Director Chip Taylor said.

"We had hoped to do the paving work in the evenings as well, however, the rubberized asphalt is very temperature sensitive and must be placed during daytime hours to maintain minimum temperatures and ensure a quality product," Mr. Taylor said in a press release.

While the repaving will take place outside commute hours, he predicted extreme traffic delays.

The paving work should finish by June 29, with lane restriping scheduled for the following week.

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