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New City Manager Tapped

Jennifer Ott to return after a four year absence.

Alameda has been without a City Manager since Eric Leavitt resigned in May of this year to take the same job in Fullerton. Since then, several people have served as Interim and Acting City Managers. First was former Assistant City Manager Gerry Beaudin, who was hired as Pleasanton’s City Manager the same day he was chosen to replace Leavitt and was only in the position for three weeks.

Alameda Post - Jennifer Ott becomes Alameda City Manager on January 3, 2023.
Jennifer Ott becomes Alameda City Manager on January 3, 2023. Photo City of Alameda.

He was succeeded by Dirk Brazil, who had previously retired from the same position with the city of Davis. Brazil left the position in Alameda for personal reasons after only a few months. Following him was the City’s HR Director, Nancy Bronstein, who subsequently retired this fall. Currently, City Manager duties are handled by Public Works Director Erin Smith, with Recreation and Parks Director Amy Wooldridge assisting.

After a six-month recruitment period, Alameda City Council is finally expected to appoint Jennifer Ott as Alameda’s new City Manager at its December 6, 2022 meeting. Ms. Ott is expected to begin work January 3, 2023. Her salary will be $305,000 per year.

“I am truly excited about returning to the City of Alameda as its next City Manager,” said Jennifer Ott. “My previous 13 years working for Alameda, and the many relationships I developed, will allow me to hit the ground running and immediately begin implementing Council and community priorities.”

Alameda’s City Manager is appointed by and reports directly to the Mayor and City Council. As the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, the City Manager provides leadership and organizational direction for City operations.

“On behalf of the City Council, I’m delighted to welcome Jennifer Ott back to Alameda as its new City Manager,” stated Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. “With more than 20 years of local government experience, including 13 years serving the City of Alameda, Jennifer understands Alameda’s unique opportunities and challenges. I have no doubt she will provide exceptional leadership for this organization, and be a valuable partner to the City Council, while serving our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Since 2018, Ms. Ott has worked for the City of Hayward where she serves as Assistant City Manager and Development Services Director. From 2005 to 2018, Ms. Ott worked for the City of Alameda as Redevelopment Manager, Acting Assistant City Manager, Chief Operating Officer of Alameda Point, and Base Reuse and Transportation Planning Director. In 2009, Ms. Ott oversaw the renovation of the Alameda Theatre which won numerous awards, including from the California Redevelopment Association, California Preservation Foundation, and California Art Deco Society.

Ms. Ott holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Spanish from the University of California, Davis. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Updated 9:23 a.m., Wed. Nov. 23 to include compensation.

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Alameda Post Inc. applied to the IRS for 501 (c)(3) non-profit status earlier this year. Members will be notified when the IRS sends a positive determination letter, making their membership or donation tax-deductible. Monthly members will receive their benefits after three months of membership. Memberships including tickets to history walking tours will be offered in limited quantities.