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Emily Harrison to become a top Santa Clara County official

Original post made on Apr 11, 2008

Emily Harrison will leave Palo Alto after a tumultuous and challenging career to become the a high-ranking official in the Santa Clara County administration, officials announced Thursday. Harrison will assume her duties as one of three deputy county executives May 12 at a salary of $199,018, according to an announcement from the county.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 11, 2008, 7:19 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Matt Raschke
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Apr 11, 2008 at 8:07 am

Congratulations Emily!

You will be sorely missed, but I'm really glad you have such a nice opportunity ahead of you.

Thanks for being a great leader.

-Matt



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Posted by Paly High '77 Alumni
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2008 at 9:51 am

I personally witnessed Ms. Harrison create a hostile environment for the public as well, by trying to remove video cameras from public meetings, by telling members of the public to remove themselves from public meetings, by refusing to release documents to the public and press.
I hope these behaviors are all long gone and I wish the best of luck to Santa Clara County with their new employee. Overall Ms. Harrison did a wonderful job through the years. She just didn't quite get the idea of governmental transparency straight. The Brown Act was written to deal with her type of management style.
The (mis)management of the City of Palo Alto by top administrators is one of the primary reasons I chose to move from the city after over 40 years. A new City Manager and Assistant City Manager will be a welcome breath of fresh air for the City of Palo Alto. It might even bring me back.


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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm

But you gotta admit, 77, she's cute when she's mad.


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Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Yes, Walter. Too bad she's cute 24/7.


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Posted by Bob Harrington
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Emily Harrison is a quality administrator who worked tirelessly for Palo Alto nearly 24/7 for almost two decades. Santa Clara County's gaim is Palo Alto's loss. We will miss her.

But her efforts on behalf of Palo Alto will not be completely lost to us; for at the top of Santa Clara County's Silicon Valley, with all its challenges and opportunities, sits Palo Alto.

We are all in this together.


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Posted by Ray Bacchetti
a resident of University South
on Apr 11, 2008 at 10:08 pm

With Emily's moving on, a great treasure will have moved from Palo Alto to Santa Clara County. I like to think we deserved someone as capable, dedicated, and smart as she. We'll miss her but we're better off by far for having had the benefit of her commitment for so long.


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Posted by Carolyn Tucher
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Apr 11, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Palo Alto will certainly miss Emily. She has been an extraordinary problem solver - bright, hardworking, collaborative, results oriented. It's hard to imagine that we will find someone as effective at making city government work for the Palo Alto community as Emily has. Let's hope we do. Thanks, Emily!


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Posted by William
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 12, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Harrison's departure is long overdue. With her departure, and the Auditor's and Carl Yeats and the City Manager's .. it's almost a clean sweep.

The new City Manager will be able to pick his own team .. which rarely happens in city government circles.

Harrison could be vicious, as came to light when she was suspended.

People should never be allowed to stay in the upper-level management of any organization as long as Palo Alto allows its managers to stay. Some, like Harrison, becomes a "law unto her own".

This is a great day for Palo Alto.


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 12, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Now whom do we call to get anything done? At least she answered the phone, got the potholes fixed, solved problems, and in general ran the city while Benest was off doing conferences, traveling the country, and teaching at Stanford.

And to William of Charleston Gardens, Auditor Sharon Erickson, was the crown jewel at City Hall. Too bad she wasn't listened to. She will really be missed. Can't blame her for leaving.


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Posted by William
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

> Auditor Sharon Erickson, was the crown jewel at City Hall

This Auditor failed at so many things. While she may have been a "good person" .. she did not have the courage to audit the departments that needed auditing--like the Utilities.

> At least she answered the phone, got the potholes
> fixed, solved problems,

This is not what the Assistant City Manager is supposed to do. The Assistant Manager is supposed to be managing the Directors who are supposed to be managing the unit managers who are supposed to be managing the employees who are supposed to be answering the phones and fixing the potholes.

CMs and ACMs are supposed to be building organizations, and making certain that the organizations work. It might be nice that the ACM was able "get things done"--but if that is true .. she wasn't doing her job, she was doing other people's jobs.

Sorry .. but she showed very little organizational skills. But having spent so much time in PA city government .. how could she come to see how large organizations are supposed to work?
\


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Posted by Lefty
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Paly High 77 Alum: "A new City Manager and Assistant City Manager will be a welcome breath of fresh air for the City of Palo Alto. It might even bring me back."

Stay put. I noticed things got better when you left.


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Posted by Palo Alto Resident on Vacation
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Sports lover
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 19, 2008 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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