By the time the council formally meets to hire Dirk Brazil as city manager on October 21, it will be just shy of six months since former City Manager Steve Pinkerton officially left. On Monday night, in closed session, the council voted to appoint Dirk Brazil on a 4-0-1 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis abstaining.
They authorized a contingent offer to Mr. Brazil, subject to acceptance by Mr. Brazil and formal approval at the October 21, 2014 Council meeting. According to the release from the city, the city council, led by a council search and subcommittee of Lucas Frerichs and Rochelle Swanson, engaged in an extensive national search for a new city manager, and was very pleased with the caliber of the over 80 applications received and thanks all the participants.
“My Tuesday nights will never be the same, but I’m OK with that. To take a leadership role in the city where I live is, to be honest, an incredible opportunity. I know there are significant challenges ahead of us. That’s the norm in local government. But there are also so many great possibilities,” said Brazil.
Mr. Brazil is currently the Assistant County Administrator for Yolo County and has served in this post for the past eight years. During this time, Mr. Brazil has worked on economic development, inter-government relations, natural resources management, legislative affairs, climate change/sustainability projects, and other regional initiatives, according to the city’s release.
Mr. Brazil brings with him knowledge on a number of regional and intergovernmental projects including the Downtown University Gateway District (Nishi), the Woodland-Davis water project, UC Davis’ Seed Central and Food Central efforts, the Yolo County Climate Compact, the Innovation Park proposal process, the Yolo Natural Heritage Program, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and Community Choice Aggregation, the city release said.
Prior to Yolo County, Mr. Brazil’s professional experience included positions as: District Director for then-State Assemblymember Lois Wolk; Chief Deputy in the California Department of Fish and Game; Chief Deputy in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Policy Director for Gray Davis during his tenure as State Controller and Lieutenant Governor, as well as holding a variety of leadership positions in the California State Legislature, the release continued.
“We appreciate all the highly qualified candidates who interviewed and we were fortunate to have excellent applicants for the Council to choose from. I couldn’t be more excited about Dirk’s selection to be our City Manager,” said Mayor Dan Wolk. “He’s smart, experienced, works well with others, and knows our community. We are facing a number of challenges and Dirk will help us immensely in addressing them.”
“I am confident that we have selected a person who will provide exceptional leadership to the organization for many years to come. I look forward to working with him and the Council to address our important priorities,” added Councilmember Brett Lee.
“This Council is strong, intentional and cohesive. And as a manager, you can’t ask for a better starting point,” said Mr. Brazil. He continued, “My job is to make sure the whole organization mirrors those qualities – everyone moving in the same, clearly defined direction. The Council sets the policy. We make it happen.”
The city release continued: Mr. Brazil is married to Nora, a Davis elementary school teacher/librarian and has two college age children. Mr. Brazil has an MA in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate School, a BA in Political Science from UC Davis, graduated from the Executive Management Program at the University of Washington and was a Coro Foundation Fellow.
They added that Dirk Brazil replaces former City Manager Steven Pinkerton who served the city of Davis from September 2011 through April 2014.
The release stated that Mr. Brazil will take over on November 3, 2014.
—David M. Greenwald reporting