BRENTWOOD -- After nearly three years as Brentwood's city manager, Paul Eldredge will soon leave the city to become general manager of the Union Sanitary District in Union City.
Before his stint as city manager, Eldredge worked 14 years for the city as assistant city manager, assistant city engineer and assistant director of public works. He came to Brentwood in 1997 as an entry-level engineer.
"After much deliberation and consideration, I have decided to pursue another career opportunity and have tendered my resignation to the City Council," Eldredge stated in a news release. "This was a very difficult decision to make, as I have been extremely fortunate to be part of such an incredible organization in so many capacities during my time in Brentwood."
Union Sanitary directors selected Eldredge from a group of five finalists. His range of experience, such as negotiating labor contracts and being a professional engineer with knowledge of wastewater issues, made him stand out, said Anjali Lathi, the district's board president.
"It was the whole package, the combination of all his experience, that made him rise to the top," Lathi said.
Eldredge's annual compensation, including health benefits and perks, will be about $270,000, said agency leaders.
Eldredge was instrumental in some of Brentwood's key infrastructure such the wastewater and water-treatment plants, Councilman Erick Stonebarger said.
"His roots and his background are in engineering and water. That is where his passion is," Stonebarger said. "As a city manager, he was good at organizing and had a tremendous amount of knowledge of all of our systems and infrastructure. He really knew how the city worked."
Stonebarger said the city will hire an interim city manager and then focus on the recruitment process for a permanent replacement. Eldredge's last day will be sometime in late July.
"It is really tough to get that position to stay for the long term with the politics that are involved," Stonebarger said. "I would like a city manager that has a fair amount of leadership as far as managing personnel. They don't have to have a lot of city manager experience. Just some business leadership experience."
Brentwood Vice Mayor Joel Bryant said Eldredge has guided Brentwood through many challenges and helped keep the city moving in a positive direction.
Eldredge's predecessor, Donna Landeros, encouraged him to become city manager after he completed his master's of business administration degree. She retired in 2011 after seven years in the city manager position.
"Paul has been an important part of our city for many years. He has been an outstanding city manager," Councilman Gene Clare said. "He has had the interests of our citizens at heart. Paul has led our city with heart."
Staff writer Chris De Benedetti contributed to this story.