Michael Garvey has more than 35 years of experience working in local government, including 18 years as a city manager on the Peninsula.
Today, he's in Pacifica, serving as interim city manager until there's a new hire to fill the shoes of former city manager Steve Rhodes, who retired at the end of last month.
Garvey's job is to support the Pacifica City Council during the transition. He says he plans to "maintain the administration of the City, respond to Council and to the public, and organize things to give the new, permanent manager a good start on the key issues."
His contract can't exceed 900 hours but there's still plenty to do. Some of the hot issues that city staff briefed him on at the start of his contract include the budget and long-term revenue/expenditure balance, San Pedro Bridge improvements, Palmetto Design issues, Calera Parkway, Devil’s Slide pathway, Snowy Plover protection, implementation of beach parking fees, and the library, he said.
Garvey certainly has the experience to do the job. He works on contracted services for cities and counties around the Bay Area, usually on specific projects that have starting and ending dates.
"When the new manager arrives, I will start on another," said Garvey, who resides in San Carlos.
Garvey has also served as a leader in the City Managers Department (the California organization of City Managers), including service as President, and has served on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities. Prior to that he served on committees of the County Services Association of California (CSAC), the association of California counties, giving him a unique perspective on the operations of both levels of government.
He says his most complicated successful effort was “Smart Permit,” a Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network project that utilized a public-private collaboration to create an automated permitting system. The system has been studied by jurisdictions on four continents. He led the public sector side of the project and co-chaired the collaboration.
Among his other projects, Garvey is working with a consortium of local governments on the San Francisco Peninsula to develop a master plan for El Camino Real and supports the University of California, Berkeley in the development and operation of a training program for senior executives at the local level of government throughout the western United States. He also serves as the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Senior Advisor in Northern California.
He has also received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the American Society for Public Administration’s Bay Area “Public Official of the Year” award, the Silicon Valley “Public Administrator of the Year” award and the “Technology Manager of the Year” award from Public Technology, Inc., an international innovation advocation organization.
But for now he's immersing himself in everything Pacifica and so far he has a pretty good impression.
"Great people, beautiful setting, dedicated staff and a good Council with mutual respect even if different ideas," he said.
He admits that the "infrastructure is in poor shape" and that "City facilities are very much in need of an upgrade" but there's an "interesting community potential."