OAKLAND — Mayor Ron Dellums announced key personnel changes atop the city's finance and management agency and other offices Thursday in another personnel shake-up that is part of Dellums' ongoing restructuring of city government.
Dellums' announcement Thursday followed the termination Wednesday of five city employees and came two weeks after the mayor announced other key appointments, including naming Dan Lindheim as city administrator.
"I am confident that the members of my new executive team are strong choices for the city," Dellums said in a statement. "These changes will help our city move forward."
The changes were made with the city facing what is expected to be at least a $50 million general fund deficit in the upcoming 2009-10 fiscal year.
Replacing Bill Noland as finance and management director will be Joe Yew, who served as vice president for the investment banking firm of E.J. De La Rosa & Co. and as finance director for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission after he left the city of Oakland in 2004. He had been the city's treasury manager.
Replacing Sarah Schlenk as budget director will be Cheryl Taylor, who served as finance administrator for the San Francisco Housing Authority and a finance manager for Kaiser Permanente after leaving Oakland in 2006, when she served as interim budget director.
Yew and Taylor will work closely with Assistant City Administrator Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, a former Oakland budget director whom Dellums appointed as Lindheim's No. 2 specifically to focus on the city's financial operations.
In other changes:
Noland, Schlenk, Meyers and Larkrith-Thompson all were terminated from their positions Wednesday. Ace Tago, the city's controller, also lost his job, but the statement from Dellums' office did not mention who Tago's replacement will be.
It is possible some of the people who were terminated will land in other City Hall positions. A source familiar with the process said everyone who lost a job was told they can apply for other city jobs.
Council President Jane Brunner (North Oakland) said the city's dire fiscal situation will be a huge challenge for the employees coming on board to work with the budget.
"The mayor said he was going to bring in his people, so he's bringing in his people," Brunner said. "Some of the people who have left I thought were doing a good job, and some of them probably should have been replaced. I think the hardest thing will be doing this budget with new finance people."
The mayor's office offered no comment on the people who were terminated. But the city's fiscal picture has deteriorated over the past several months.
In July, Dellums ordered a top-to-bottom review of Oakland's budget situation after acknowledging the 2008-09 spending plan he and former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly presented to the council was based on figures that were not accurate.
The subsequent review concluded Oakland's budget was badly out of balance and that midyear cuts would be needed to fill an estimated $42.5 million deficit.
Noland defended himself and his staff when contacted Thursday.
"I asked if it was related to my performance, and the answer was no," Noland said. "Basically, I was told that the mayor is assembling a new team, and that was the reason."
He said he enjoyed his time as a city official.
"I've enjoyed working for the city," he said. "I think I and my people have done a lot of good things for the city. That's all I can say."
It's likely Dellums will announce more personnel changes soon.
The mayor has yet to announce any significant personnel reductions in his office or the city administrator's office, but one City Hall source said changes in those offices could be coming in the "next few weeks."
The City Council voted in October, as part of the midyear budget reductions, to cut a total of $430,000 from the budget for the mayor's and city administrator's offices.