Q & A With Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam

By SLNext
In Uncategorized
Jun 20th, 2019


On February 1, 2019, the City appointed Liz Warmerdam as Assistant City Manager.  For the past 20+ years she has worked in a variety of positions in cities throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in the areas of Finance and Redevelopment. She has served as Assistant City Manager in the City of Hercules and, most recently, in the City of Alameda.  Warmerdam began her professional career as an officer in the Unites States Army, serving tours of duty in Germany and Korea.  She has master degrees in City Planning and Public Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Throughout her career in public service, Liz has demonstrated the skills, experience and character required to excel in this critical leadership position,” says City Manager Jeff Kay. “I’m excited to work with her and confident that she will be a great addition to our team.”

We recently sat down with Liz to discuss her role, vision for San Leandro, and what the future may hold.


What are your top goals as Assistant City Manager for the City of San Leandro?


“I aim to support the City Council and the City Manager, and to help them accomplish their goals. I also wish  to provide leadership to staff and removing barriers to getting work done. I work to make sure we are all rowing in the same direction, as well as instill a sense that staff is valued and taken care of. And of course, I look forward to getting to know the organization and the culture of the City. “


What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have worked on to date in your career?


“Early in my career, I ran a city’s First-Time Homebuyer Program. It was very rewarding to help people purchase a home for the first time. I was also the project manager for the construction of the first ever library in the City of Hercules. It is a spectacular building worth checking out. I also helped two cities through financial crises during the Great Recession. While this is not something I care to endure again, it was rewarding to see these communities through challenging financial times. Perhaps very apropos these days, I also developed a Public Employees’ Retirement System/Other Post-Employment Benefits (PERS/OPEB) funding policy before most cities realized there would be a problem. “


What do you enjoy most about the Assistant City Manager role?


“I enjoy working with the various departments and helping them accomplish their goals by smoothing the wrinkles of an oftentimes daunting bureaucracy.”


What do you see as the biggest challenge as we look to the future?


“At this time, the City’s biggest challenge is the funding of our basic PERS benefits. Without even enhancing our employees’ benefits, the costs continue to climb with no relief in the foreseeable future. The end result is that we continue to provide higher volume of service to the community without the commensurate increase in staffing. This is always a challenge, and one where sound leadership is imperative.”


What do you see as the most significant opportunities in San Leandro?


“I’m struck by the City’s commitment to both housing and economic development. There are great opportunities here if we can be creative and ensure that we are looking out for the best interest of our diverse residents and businesses. San Leandro’s  two BART stations are fantastic development opportunities, particularly as the region looks to these types of transit hubs for innovative and smart growth. On that note, next year, Mayor Cutter will be the Chair of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). I believe this is a unique opportunity to partner with ACTC and potentially receive additional transportation dollars for the community. Lastly, the Shoreline Development project is very exciting. This project has the potential to bring additional vibrancy to that part of town and really capitalize on the waterside location.”

4 Responses to “Q & A With Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam”

  1. Ximena Cunich says:

    Who is handling the Homeless issue in the City?
    It seem to be getting out of hand.
    As a Business owner who have gotten our property
    and our neighbors vandalized is a worrisome problem.
    I would like to see a task force formed to handle it.
    We have to pay high amounts of property taxes and Licences to be able
    to conduct business in this beautiful city.
    I do not want to see it becoming an unattractive one for future business enterprises

  2. eric says:

    great interview. Lets hope she can assist in bringing in whole foods, sprouts, or trader joes…though at this point i’ll just take a ranch 99.

  3. Jimbo Jones says:

    So true. I am sick of being stuck with Safeway in San Leandro and having to drive to other cities for better grocery stores like Sprouts and Berkeley Bowl.

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