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Ed Shikada Named Palo Alto City Manager; Starting in 2019

Ed Shikada Named Palo Alto City Manager; Starting in 2019

June 25, 2018— Assistant City Manager and Utilities General Manager Ed Shikada has been selected as City Manager of Palo Alto starting in 2019, announced Mayor Liz Kniss. The decision was made following several closed sessions by the full City Council, as well as recommendations and a review of the market by the Council Appointed Committee that is charged with overseeing the selection process. City Manager James Keene had previously indicated he will retire at the end of 2018. 

“Ed is an exceptionally experienced professional with deep knowledge and leadership ability across the organization,” said Kniss. “He has the temperament, operational aptitude, dedication and commitment to public service that make him a great choice. Over the past three years, Ed has been serving simultaneously in two key leadership positions, and has worked well with the staff, community and the Council. We anticipate a smooth transition as he moves into his new role.”

Kniss added that having such a strong internal candidate was a factor in the streamlined hiring process. “We know we are facing an incredibly competitive marketplace in terms of city manager candidates, and the Council felt strongly it wanted to ensure Ed was our next city manager before he was recruited away by another city for an opportunity, “said Kniss. “Jim brought Ed on board three years ago and they have made a dynamic team,” continued Kniss. “The organization will continue to benefit from their work together over the next six months, and the City will be well situated with strong leadership in place when Jim retires at the end of the year. We are fortunate to have Ed as our next city manager and the Council looks forward to building on the progress and momentum made during Jim’s decade with Palo Alto.”

Shikada joined Palo Alto in 2015 as Assistant City Manager (serving on an interim basis for the first several months), and added the responsibilities as General Manager of the Utilities Department in October 2016. In these dual roles, Shikada has led and supported a broad portfolio of responsibilities citywide in various policy and program initiatives.

“Since I joined the City, I have been impressed by the level of commitment and sense of service among our employees, and by our engaged and sophisticated citizenry,” said Shikada. “The City of Palo Alto is an outstanding organization serving an extraordinary community. We are at the center of innovation in Silicon Valley and our work reflects the complex issues and high level of service that is representative of Palo Alto. I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to lead this organization and serve the public as we work together on building community and quality of life.”

Prior to coming to Palo Alto, Shikada served as City Manager of San Jose from 2013 to 2015 following a decade of increasingly responsible roles starting as Deputy City Manager in 2003. Throughout his tenure with San Jose, Shikada oversaw operations of a $3 billion enterprise spanning 15 departments and 5,700 employees, and managed services including public safety, economic development, neighborhood, transportation and aviation, environmental and utility, and strategic support services. He was a key leader in tackling San Jose’s structural deficit challenge, and led a number of interdepartmental initiatives related to service delivery, public-private partnerships, and capital improvements.

Shikada previously held a variety of positions at the City of Long Beach from 1995 to 2003 including as Director of Public Works, Manager of Traffic and Transportation, as well as City Traffic Engineer and Transportation Planning Officer. He directed operations and improvement of citywide infrastructure systems, as well as the establishment of a new transportation/traffic operations bureau. Shikada previously served in management roles with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and in transportation consulting.   

Shikada holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was a senior executive in state/local government from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is currently on track to become a West Coast Regional Vice President on the executive board of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the world’s leading association of local government management professionals.  

His base salary for the position will be $356,000 with a total compensation package to include an $18,500 contribution to a 457 deferred compensation account. Consistent with the City’s charter that calls for the city manager to live in Palo Alto, Shikada will receive a temporary housing allowance of $4,000 a month until he is able to finalize permanent housing in Palo Alto. His current salary as Assistant City Manager and General Manager of Utilities is $303,000.

Last Updated: June 25, 2018