Longtime Menlo Park staff official and current Assistant City Manager Chip Taylor has announced that he plans to depart Menlo Park on Feb. 23 to begin work as Sunnyvale's public works director starting March 19.
Mr. Taylor was first hired by the city of Menlo Park as its transportation manager in 2005, and worked for the city a total of about 11 years. He served as Menlo Park's public works director before taking on the same role in Millbrae. He was later promoted to assistant city manager in Millbrae before returning to Menlo Park in October 2015 as its assistant city manager.
Since then, he's had a three-word mandate as his job description.
That mandate is written on a coaster he received from City Manager Alex McIntyre: Get "stuff" done – but replace "stuff" with an expletive.
Mr. McIntyre said he sought to hire Mr. Taylor after the former assistant city manager left because of Mr. Taylor's familiarity with the city and his expertise.
"I needed somebody who could marry public works to community development," he said. "I knew Chip could do that."
Mr. Taylor was born in Kentucky and grew up in different parts of the country. He attended high school in Southern California and college at San Jose State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He then received a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Denver, and worked in Colorado for about 10 years before beginning work with the city of Menlo Park.
Many of the projects Mr. Taylor said he's proud of working on have to do with improving the city's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure: replacing the bike and pedestrian overcrossing on U.S. 101 at Ringwood Avenue and getting sidewalks installed on Santa Cruz Avenue.
He also helped oversee the traffic mitigation plans for different neighborhoods, and the development of the city's El Camino Real/downtown specific plan and its general plan update for the the light industrial area near the Bay, called "ConnectMenlo."
Sunnyvale plans to offer Mr. Taylor substantially higher compensation: his starting annual salary will be $245,000; Menlo Park's salary schedule indicates a maximum salary for assistant city manager of $211,761.
"It's bittersweet for me," Mr. Taylor said. "I do enjoy the people I work with here."
He added that Sunnyvale is a bigger city but has similar problems to Menlo Park, and that he's looking forward to working on capital projects there.