Carlsbad selects new city manager

Carlsbad selects new city manager
Steven Sarkozy will be Carlsbad’s next city manager, starting the job April 14. Photo courtesy of the city of Carlsbad

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad has selected the former city manager of Bellevue, Wash., Steven Sarkozy, as its next city manager, replacing John Coates who resigned suddenly last October.

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“The City of Carlsbad offers an unmatched combination of progressive leadership, outstanding services, financial health and a talented staff passionate about public service. Most importantly, the City Council is united in its vision for the future, and I am excited to be a part of helping to bring that vision to life,” said Sarkozy in a statement. He has not spoken publically about his appointment at this time.

He most recently served as the city manager of Bellevue, just outside of Seattle, for 13 years. Similar to Carlsbad, the suburb of 128,000 people maintains 90 percent resident satisfaction and has a AAA credit rating.

He was worked as a consultant for private firms since leaving his position in Bellevue in 2013.

“When you’ve got an organization with an annual budget of more than a quarter of a billion dollars that provides services seven days a week to more than 100,000 people, effective leadership is key,” said Mayor Matt Hall. “Steve’s experience and track record of excellence are simply unmatched.”

City Council expressed that they have high expectations for the new city manager at the March 11 meeting.

“I think all of you are going to be amazed about how far and how fast we are going to be able to go towards our goals as a city,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mark Packard.

Sarkozy will start his new position on April 14 with an annual salary of $260,000.

Since Coates’ leave, Carlsbad’s former fire chief Kevin Crawford has served as the city’s interim city manager. Crawford recently left the position to become the president and CEO of United Way of San Diego County.

Kathy Dodson, who was promoted to assistant city manager in late December, will act as interim city manager until Sarkozy takes over.

She was chosen for the position over Carlsbad’s other assistant city manager, Gary Barberio, who has been with the city seven years longer and was promoted to the assistant city manager position months before her.

Dodson was selected because she handles more of the day-to-day operations of the city, according to city communications manager Kristina Ray. Barberio is responsible for special projects, including the Encina power plant and transforming Carlsbad Boulevard.

Council formerly approved Sarkozy for the position at its March 11 meeting.

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