New manager happy with 'dream job'

Daniel Rich becomes Mountain View's city manager July 27

Mayor Jac Siegel announced Friday afternoon that the City Council has finally picked a new city manager, Daniel Rich, who will leave the top job at Campbell city hall for a new start in Mountain View on July 27.

Rich is a 47 -year-old Palo Alto resident and has been Campbell's city manager for the last six years. Before that he worked in the larger city of Sunnyvale as assistant to the city manager for nine years and in the smaller city of Belmont as an assistant and interim city manager for four years.

"I'm actually quite happy in Campbell but Mountain View is really kind of my dream job," Rich said. "It is too good of an opportunity to not pursue it. I think its a perfect size city." A population of 50,000 to 100,000 is the "sweet spot. It is not too big so that it is impersonal or bureaucratic and not too small so you don't have the resources to do anything."

Siegel believes that Campbell is in "great shape" financially largely because of Rich's leadership, noting that, under Rich, Campbell was one of the first cities to cut rising health care costs for new employees with a "two tier" system. Siegel also likened Rich's style to that of beloved former city manager Kevin Duggan, who had also worked as Campbell's city manager before coming to Mountain View. Siegel described Rich as low key, a strategic and technical thinker who "doesn't pick favorites" and is financially responsible.

With 19 years of city administration experience in the region, "he's a proven leader," Siegel said. "He has the ability to maintain a level of excellence in our services."

As part of the vetting process "we talked to a number of the council members down there (in Campbell) and staff as well," Siegel said. "He got very high remarks from everybody. He wouldn't come and interview with us until he told his council members he was going to do this. That just shows his character to me. He doesn't want to go behind anybody's back."

While he wouldn't say he is very familiar with Mountain View, Rich said he developed a relationship with the Mountain View city manager's office in the late 1990s when both Sunnyvale and Mountain View became involved in issues related to the closure of Moffett Field Naval Air Station. He says he greatly admires former city manager Kevin Duggan and considers him a role model for many city managers, an "icon" in the field.

Rich will be running a larger organization of 600 employees and seven City Council members, a step up from Campbell's 155 employees and five council members. Mountain View's city manager is responsible for drafting the city budget, setting council agendas, hiring employees, making recommendations to the City Council and the daily supervision of every city department.

Among the practices that Rich says he values and tries to instill in his staff include transparency, responsiveness to the public, being financially prudent and being a politically neutral professional. He says he has adopted a code of ethics that once kept him from donating $25 to a friend's political campaign in another state.

As a city manager you are "in a political environment, but you are not political," Rich said. "I still have relatives that ask me when I'm going to be mayor. I like being the adviser. I don't like being in the spotlight. I dont want to give a campaign speech. That's not me."

Before entering local government, Rich spent five years working in Washington D.C. He was a legislative assistant to California democratic congressman Alan Cranston, a legislative assistant to Oklahoma democratic congressman James R. Jones and a research analyst for the Congressional budget office. It was an exciting time, but eventually became boring, Rich said.

He says he had the realization that there was a lack of management skills in Washington D.C. and his new goal would be to merge good management with politics. He says he had no idea that city management would be his career while in college. The idea occurred to him when he met a former city official while working as an administrative intern at a university.

Rich received a master's degree in public policy from Harvard in 1992 and a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985.

Rich has lived in Palo Alto for 19 years. He is married to Abbie Dorosin and has a son and a daughter, 13-year-old Davis and 10-year-old Elana.

The council negotiated a lower salary and fewer benefits for Rich than predecessor Duggan, who was with the city for 20 years before retiring in April. Rich will be paid $240,000 a year. A $400 a month car allowance is one of the benefits that won't be passed on to Rich, Siegel said. He also will not receive money to purchase a home in Mountain View, as Duggan received 20 years ago.

Rich was selected over 66 other applicants, and had made it into the top three in a round of interviews in early May. Siegel said there was a wide range of applicants, including some who lead larger cities.

"Everyone wants to come to Mountain View," Siegel said.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I heard from some staff members that the 240k salary is a 25% raise. Necessary because the police chief is just under 240.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jess Funnen
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 28, 2011 at 8:41 pm

YEAH! In your face Campbell! 6-5-0...6-5-0...6-5-0!!!!!

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Proofreader?
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

"100,00o" should use a zero instead of an oh
"he wouldn't say he very familiar"
"James. R. Jones" has an extra period
"at a University" shouldn't be capitalized

Rushing to beat a deadline?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Proofreader?
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

"100,00o" should use a zero instead of an oh
"he wouldn't say he very familiar"
"James. R. Jones" has an extra period
"at a University" shouldn't be capitalized

Rushing to beat a deadline?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

You're right, this was a breaking story that was posted quickly and added to as further details became available.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Acshely HasaLife
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm

@Proofreader: Its a wonder you even understood the article at all (eyes rolling).
Now you can explain the meaning behind your double posting. We're you so excited about finding typos that your hands were shaking?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Do we really require 600 employees to run a city of this size?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Honor Spitz
a resident of another community
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Mtn. View welcomes you, Mr. Rich!!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Draeger’s Los Altos eyes upgrades, expansion
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,783 views

Housing is for People
By Steve Levy | 18 comments | 1,756 views

College Visit: Lehigh and Lafayette
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 4 comments | 1,237 views

Is Coffee a Date?
By Laura Stec | 4 comments | 477 views

The Opposite of What You Don't Want
By Caroline Fleck | 0 comments | 339 views