New deputy director will lead Menlo Park's housing efforts | February 27, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - February 27, 2019

New deputy director will lead Menlo Park's housing efforts

by Kate Bradshaw

Rhonda Coffman has been hired as Menlo Park's new deputy community development director overseeing housing, Interim City Manager Starla Jerome-Robinson announced on Feb. 20.

She is scheduled to begin work on March 4.

Coffman's position places her at the helm of the housing section of the city's Community Development Department. She will earn a base salary of $150,000 anually.

"I am excited to have Ms. Coffman join the City's management team," Jerome-Robinson said in the written announcement. "Her extensive experience in housing and supportive services programs will be invaluable as we work to address the housing challenges facing our entire region."

Coffman will be filling, in part, the role left by housing and economic development manager Jim Cogan, who left to work as assistant city manager of Paso Robles at the end of April last year.

The city struggled to hire someone new for that specific role, and ultimately made some adjustments to the position and compensation to give staff more flexibility in the hiring process.

Economic development in Menlo Park is now being led by Community Development Director Mark Muenzer. Management Analyst John Passman, hired Dec. 10, will also work on economic development and will report to Coffman.

Coffman is expected to eventually manage both housing and economic development, Administrative Services Director Lenka Diaz explained in an email.

Coffman has more than 20 years of experience in housing and construction management. She has worked as a housing and grants manager for the city of Redwood City, and as a construction manager in Redwood City. She has also worked as an affordable housing consultant, a construction business owner and operator, and a director of adult services for Partners & Advocates for Remarkable Children and Adults (PARCA). She holds a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame de Namur University in business administration.

In her past work, she helped to lead a community outreach process and aided in the adoption of new housing fees, zoning ordinances and tenant protection measures.


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