LIVERMORE – City Manager Marc Roberts, credited with revitalizing the city’s wine country, energizing the community’s downtown area with parks, housing and entertainment venues, and having led it to recognition as as Pan American City of 2021, announced Monday that it plans to retire in June.
Roberts, who has worked for Livermore for 3.5 decades – including the last 10 years as city manager – told city council he was fortunate enough to work with 24 council members and five mayors “who have been all committed to improving the lives of the residents of Livermore ”.
“It’s been an amazing race here for 35 years to be able to work for the city and accomplish and be a part of so many different things,” said Roberts.
Roberts said he announced his departure early to help city council recruit his replacement. The council has scheduled a special closed-door session (Thursday, December 16) to begin the process. The city said in a statement it plans to hire a new city manager by May to straddle Roberts.
Roberts ‘public announcement came the same night the city issued a lengthy statement, outlining Roberts’ accomplishments during his tenure with the city. Roberts started as an assistant and associate planner, then went on to become a special projects coordinator, assistant city manager and director of community development before his unanimous selection as city manager in 2012.
“Livermore has benefited enormously from Marc’s leadership,” Mayor Bob Woerner said in a statement. “I am very grateful that I was able to work with him while I was on the board. He has done a great job of skillfully working with many different boards to keep us all focused on providing the Livermore community with a great quality of life.
John Marchand, who served as Mayor of Livermore from 2012 to 2021, said in a statement he was honored to work with Roberts throughout his tenure.
“A lot has been accomplished under his watch,” said Marchand. He cited Roberts’ role in installing more than 60 pieces of public art in the city, creating an emergency operations center and a new council chamber, and completing the first phase of Stockmen’s Park to keep “a promise the city made 59 years ago.” “
“Livermorium Plaza will be completed next year, the Veterans Park is being planned and more parking is being added downtown, a top priority for our residents,” added Marchand. “This is something to be proud of. “
During his career, Roberts has played a key role in the progress of the city. While serving as Special Project Coordinator in 1995, Roberts developed the city’s one-stop licensing center, which streamlined the authorization process for staff and clients.
Roberts was also a project manager for the South Livermore Valley Specific Plan, which rejuvenated the Livermore wine region, helping it grow from six wineries and less than 1,200 acres of vineyards by the late 1980s. 1980 to over 50 wineries and over 4,000 acres of protected vineyards. and open space in 2021.
As Director of Community Development, Roberts led the team that drafted and implemented the Downtown Specific Plan, a project to transform downtown Livermore into a destination place with shops, cafes, restaurants, bakeries, bars, cinema, performing arts theater, artistic and public gathering places including Lizzie Fountain and Flagpole Plaza. Much of the work, including the I Street parking structure, is expected to be completed in 2022.
Roberts’ tenure involved the development of the Livermore Civic Center, including the construction of the police station in 1995, the renovation of the town hall in 2002, and a library in 2004. The town recently built a meeting hall of the civic center, which houses the new city council chamber and emergency operations center.
Roberts played a key role in negotiations with the county, the bank and stakeholders to keep the Bankhead Theater afloat after the state’s redevelopment agency ended.
The city awarded him with implementing a plan to settle the city’s unfunded liability for retiree health benefits and to guide the city through the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. While running the city’s emergency operations center, Roberts helped bring a regional testing site to the Alameda County Fairgrounds and vaccination clinics in areas in need. According to the city, more businesses have opened than closed in Livermore since the start of the pandemic.
As the city’s top employee, Roberts appointed 15 executives, overseeing a budget of $ 139 million and 475 employees.
In a statement, Roberts said he was “fortunate enough to work on everything from revitalizing downtown, to revitalizing our wine country and preserving the open spaces surrounding Livermore, to improving stability. financial support so that it can provide all the services our community depends on. everyday.
In 2021, Livermore received recognition from the National Civic League as a City of All America, receiving the award for outstanding civic engagement.
Roberts said he was grateful to the professional teams he worked with at Livermore “who made Livermore the perfect place it is today”.
He further noted that he looked forward to a long retreat in the “incredible community”.
“I’m really looking forward to living after work,” Roberts told the board. “It will be difficult for me to leave this organization.
Council members wished Roberts good luck, saying he helped train them when they were elected.
“When you retire, you can run for the board,” Woerner said at the meeting. “I joined the board right after your appointment and being a newbie to the board at that time, I certainly really enjoyed everything I learned from you and everything you did.”
Board member Bob Carling offered his best wishes.
“I know how difficult it can be when you retire from an organization where you have spent decades of your life,” Carling continued.
While Roberts’ departure will end years of administrative stability for the city, it is undergoing other changes at the top. Douglas Alessio, an 11-year-old employee who served as deputy city manager in 2021, recently retired, city officials said. Alessio joined Livermore in 2010 as Director of Financial Services. Appointed Director of Administrative Services in 2012, he oversaw finance, human resources, information technology, registry and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the city, Alessio held various positions in the towns of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Emeryville, Walnut Creek and Gonzales.
Adam Van de Water, director of innovation and economic development at Livermore, will take on the post of executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) on January 4, which owns and operates Salesforce’s multimodal transit hub, connecting nine Bay area transit systems and rooftop public park.
In a statement from the TJPA, Van de Water said he hoped to bring 20 years of experience in executive government to make the Salesforce Transit Center a world-class multimodal transport hub and complete the rail extension project of the downtown (DTX) to connect the Bay Area to California’s future high-speed rail system.
“There is no better time to deliver DTX as we leverage historic investments in federal infrastructure on the promise of this decades-long vision for the Bay Area,” said Van de Water.
According to a TJPA statement, Van de Water will replace interim executive director Nila Gonzales, who led the TJPA for 16 months. Van de Water previously worked on large-scale projects in the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Railyard Plan; the $ 500 million expansion of the Moscone Convention Center; the relocation of the Golden State Warriors to the billion dollar Chase Center in Mission Bay; and the completion of the 27-acre Mission Rock project with the San Francisco Giants and the Port of San Francisco.
While in Livermore, he worked with two National Laboratories, redesigned the outdoor space that generated over $ 6 million in economic impact, and helped establish the Wine Heritage District. Additionally, he hired Art Builds Community to develop a cultural arts vision for Livermore.