Menlo Park City Manager Alex McIntyre announced three high-level management changes Dec. 2.
Justin Murphy, assistant community development director, has been promoted to public works director, with a salary of $165,000.
Justin Murphy (City of Menlo Park photo.)
Nick Pegueros (city of Menlo Park photo)
Jim Cogan (city of Menlo Park photo)
Finally, Jim Cogan, the city's economic development manager, will take over responsibility for the city's housing programs. He will have the new title of housing and economic development manager and a salary of $127,431.
Mr. Murphy has worked with the city of Menlo Park for 18 years. As public works director, he will oversee the city's engineering, maintenance and transportation and capital improvement projects and coordinate infrastructure and development projects with the planning and building divisions.
According to Mr. McIntyre, project management is one of Mr. Murphy's strengths. Mr. Murphy will be stepping into the role once filled by Chip Taylor, recently re-hired to Menlo Park as assistant city manager. Mr. McIntyre said he hopes shuffling of employees between departments will lead to interdepartmental "cross-pollination," with increased awareness of the others' roles.
Mr. Pegueros has more than 15 years of public service experience, including working in San Bruno's finance department and as administrative services director for Los Altos. He involuntarily resigned as town manager of Portola Valley in August, and has worked as Menlo Park's interim administrative services director since then, overseeing the city's finance, human resources and information technology activities.
Mr. McIntyre said it has been a challenge to find well-qualified executive-level employees to fill public service jobs, given Menlo Park's booming economic climate. Faced with a fairly shallow candidate pool, he said the city is trying to be innovative and stretch capable staff members into new roles.
Mr. Cogan said he is excited to begin leading the city's housing program. He said he has 10 years of experience working on city housing issues, especially as chief of staff for the City Council in San Jose, where he helped facilitate the construction of thousands of affordable housing units. During that time, he said, he gathered a substantial "Rolodex" of affordable housing contacts.
"What I'm looking forward to about the assignment is getting to engage with nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing developers," he said.
The city has not had a full-time leader of Menlo Park's housing department since its housing and redevelopment department was dissolved by the state in January 2012, Mr. McIntyre said. The city tried to continue the work of the housing department by subdividing it into several other departments, but Mr. McIntyre said centralizing it once again seemed a timely move, given the city's current scale of affordable housing projects. Menlo Park currently has at least 187 below-market-rate units under construction or recently completed, with more negotiations expected soon.
Mr. Murphy and Mr. Pegueros will start their new roles on Jan. 4.
The city is still searching for a human resources manager and finance manager.