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|The City Manager's Office provides leadership and direction in the implementation of City Council policy objectives and administration of City services and programs, ensuring accountability, community responsiveness and customer service excellence.
City Manager, Rod Gould
Rod Gould took lead of the City of Santa Monica in January 2010. Mr. Gould’s remarkable resume includes a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and master’s degrees in both Public Administration and Education from Harvard University. He has previously served as City Manager in the cities of Monrovia, San Rafael and Poway, California. He is a past president of the League of California Cities’ City Managers Department and served on the League’s Board of Directors from 2007-2009.
In 2012, Mr. Gould was given the Wes McClure Manager of Distinction Award by the League of California Cities City Managers Department. This is the highest award given by the Department, and Rod is the second recipient. It is given to those managers who have supported the profession through service, innovation and developing others. It is particularly meaningful to Rod because he knew the gentleman for whom it is named as a tireless supporter of the profession during his 35 years as a City Manager and 30 years thereafter.
In addition, Rod was recently elected to West Coast Vice President of the International City and County Management Association (ICMA). He will serve on the ICMA Board of Directors and represent the states of California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. No expense of City time or funding will be incurred as a result of his service in this role; however, it brings the opportunity to support the profession nationally and internationally during a tough time for cities.
Elaine Polachek, Assistant City Manager
Assistant City Manager Elaine
Polachek has over 30 years of public administration experience and has served
in several key positions with the City of Santa Monica. Her academic career
includes a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and a master’s
degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
As Assistant City Manager, Ms.
Polachek oversees the day-to-day coordination, administration, and supervision
of 11 city departments. She focuses on
developing, enhancing, and sustaining relations with key City business partners
such as the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., and the Pier Corporation. She is tasked with
managing internal interdepartmental efforts addressing community concerns. In addition, Ms. Polachek is responsible for carrying
out the City Manager’s directives regarding interpretation of policies and
representing the City Manager in negotiations of complex use agreements with
institutional partners, large scale event agreements and resolving conflicts
within the organization.
Ms. Polachek previously served as
Deputy City Manager, Director of Community Maintenance, and Open Space Manager
with the City of Santa Monica. Other
noteworthy past positions for Ms. Polachek include Vice President of Marketing
at the Pacific Design Center, and Operations Manager for the Pier Restoration
Corporation, where she played a key role in the redevelopment of the Santa
Monica Pier from 1984 to 1995. She has also served in management positions with
the Province of Ontario and the City of Scottsdale, AZ.
Kate Vernez, Deputy City Manager for Special Projects
Kate Vernez oversees advocacy, policy development and management of the intergovernmental relations and community relations functions so that the City is both responsive to the community’s needs and is effective securing funding and desired outcomes in public forums, in the media and before legislative and regulatory bodies in Los Angeles County, the State of California and the Federal Government. This includes oversight of Cable television division, citywide publications such as Seascape, web content and outside lobbyists. Work on regional, state, and federal levels advances high priority goals of the City, including Phase 2 of the Exposition Light Rail Project, homeless initiatives, and management of State and Federal lobbyists to seek available funding for City projects. Special focus areas include executing public education and media campaigns; strategic communications programs; resident satisfaction surveying and customer service initiatives.
Ms. Vernez joined Santa Monica after working for the City of New York, for the Housing and Preservation and Development agency, City Comptroller, and Mayor of New York. She completed the Executive Program in Management from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She received a joint Masters from Columbia University in Urban Planning and Community Organizing. She received her B.A from New York University.