Two months after Ed Shikada joined the City of Palo Alto's leadership team on a trial basis, he is preparing to shed his interim status and extend his stay at City Hall.
Shikada has been serving as an assistant city manager in an interim capacity since April 7, and has focused on what City Manager James Keene calls the "public services" group, which includes public safety, utilities, public works, libraries and community services.
Since joining the executive team, Shikada has been at the center of the council's discussions on reforming animal services and expanding smoking restrictions.
Now, Keene and Shikada are looking to make the partnership permanent. On June 15, the City Council is expected to vote on Keene's appointment of Shikada as assistant city manager on a permanent basis. Shikada would have a salary of $232,000.
Keene said after Shikada's first few months in Palo Alto, they "mutually agreed that he is a good fit for our community and is a valuable asset to our leadership team."
For Shikada, the assistant city manager job will be his first major permanent post since he left San Jose late last year after 12 years of service. Shikada had worked as deputy city manager in San Jose for much of his tenure and was ultimately promoted to the city manager position, which he held for about a year.
Before joining the City of San Jose, Shikada held a variety of positions in the City of Long Beach, including director of public works, manager of traffic and transportation and transportation planning officer. His resume also includes various executive-level positions with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
"Ed's experience in senior leadership roles across a multitude of disciplines and in cities with complex operations aligns very well with our organizational needs and structure, and we are pleased he is joining the City as a permanent assistant city manager," Keene said in a statement.
Shikada is one of two assistant city managers recently hired by Keene. The city had also recently tapped Suzanne Mason to serve as assistant city manager. Mason, who had also spent the bulk of her public-service career in Long Beach, began her stint as assistant city manager on May 6.
Shikada's change of status will be on the council's "consent calendar," a list of agenda items that typically gets approved with a single vote and with no discussion.
In a statement, Shikada called the City of Palo Alto an "extraordinary organization serving a world-class community."
"Palo Alto tackles complex and difficult issues with a sophistication that reflects its stature at the center of Silicon Valley," Shikada said. "I am grateful for this opportunity to support its continued leadership in community service innovation and quality of life."