SUNNYVALE -- City officials Friday announced that Deanna Santana, who served as Oakland city administrator and San Jose assistant city manager, is a top candidate to be named Sunnyvale city manager.

The Sunnyvale City Council is scheduled to vote on appointing Santana at its Monday meeting. A statement from the city called Santana its "top candidate."

"We expected top-notch choices and Sunnyvale's rigorous recruitment process delivered a highly talented pool of candidates," Mayor Jim Griffith said in the city's announcement. "Deanna clearly stood out through five interview panels with 30 community and employee representatives."

The city announcement quoted Santana saying that "at the epicenter of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale has long been the benchmark to measure innovation and best practices in local government" and that the city "has maintained its reputation for being well-managed and fiscally responsible for decades and particularly through the global recession."

"I feel deeply honored to be considered by the City Council to continue with this tradition as Sunnyvale's next city manager," the statement quoted Santana. "I look forward to working with the City Council, employees, residents and stakeholders to maintain these achievements and sound practices."


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If her appointment is confirmed, Santana would succeed Gary Luebbers, who retired in December 2013 after five years as city manager in Sunnyvale. Under the employment contract to be presented to the City Council for approval at the April 29 meeting, Santana would receive an annual salary of $264,045 and other compensation benefits. Her scheduled start date would be June 1.

Santana, a Bay Area native, most recently served as city administrator in Oakland and deputy city manager in San Jose. Sunnyvale officials said that in Oakland, she was credited with working with the mayor and City Council to stabilize the organization and strategically restore essential services after years of fiscal uncertainty.

Prior to her tenure in Oakland, Santana held several executive positions in San Jose before becoming deputy city manager, serving as a key architect for some of the city's largest economic growth and public infrastructure investments, Sunnyvale officials said. Those included San Jose's Economic Development Strategy, Green Vision Strategy, Open Government Initiative and "Decade of Investment" that represented the nation's largest capital improvement program at the time.

Santana resigned from her Oakland position in March and was a finalist for manager jobs in Dallas and Phoenix. Santana did not comment on her departure but was said to have been frustrated after butting heads with the mayor and council over spending and procedures.

Contact John Woolfolk at 408-975-9346. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnwoolfolk1.