The city of Menlo Park has hired two newcomers and promoted one city staff member to fill three key positions as City Hall tried to recover from a lengthy staffing shortage.
The vacant positions have caused some problems in Menlo Park, leaving the city without enough staff to hold some city events during the 2022 holidays. Filling vacant roles has been a city priority for months.
"We are fortunate to both attract and retain talented individuals as part of our staff here at the city of Menlo Park," City Manager Justin Murphy said in a statement.
Assistant City Manager Stephen Stotle
Stephen Stolte started as Menlo Park's assistant city manager on Jan. 3. In his role, Stolte will oversee administrative services and the city manager's office as well as special projects and new initiatives, according to a press release. Stolte has worked in public service in San Mateo County for the last 10 years, and recently served as the assistant city manager of Daly City.
"With his experience, he will be a valuable addition to the city of Menlo Park and I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas he'll bring to the table as the city continues to move forward," Murphy said.
Stolte has experience overseeing economic and community development, public works, library and recreation services and human resources. Stolte holds a bachelor's degree in sustainable development from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in international affairs, sustainable urban development and environmental policy from Columbia University.
Deputy City Manager Nikki Nagaya
Nikki Nagaya began her new role as Menlo Park's deputy city manager on Jan. 5. Nagaya has been promoted from previous city staff roles in Menlo Park, where she has worked since 2013. Nagaya joined Menlo Park as a senior transportation engineer, and has served as the transportation manager, assistant public works director and most recently as public works director. She has 16 years of experience in transportation planning and engineering.
"Nikki has accomplished great things for Menlo Park already, and I'm looking forward to having her expertise in this new leadership role," Murphy said.
Nagaya has managed a department of over 70 employees, an operating budget of nearly $37 million and a capital improvement program budget of over $100 million.
Nagaya holds a bachelor's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Bucknell University.
Administrative Services Director Brittany Mello
Brittany Mello will start as Menlo Park's administrative services director on Jan. 17. Mello will be leaving her role as the director of administrative services overseeing human resources, risk management and information services in Huntington Beach.
"Administrative services is the heart of any organization, and I'm glad to have Brittany's expertise here in Menlo Park," Murphy said. "I'm looking forward to hearing her ideas on how we can improve our financial, personnel and overall internal processes to ensure we are functioning at optimal efficiency for our employees and residents."
Mello earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Barnard College and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.