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Veteran City Manager Leaves San Carlos, Calif., After 26 Years

Having served in many leadership positions around the city, the assistant city manager announced he will leave the city to take time off and return for encore management.

by / July 8, 2013
San Carlos, Calif., and neighboring Redwood City at dusk. Flickr/HowardFenter

After 26 years with the city of San Carlos, Calif., Brian Moura is moving on to the next phase of his career.

Serving most recently as assistant city manager, Moura's last day with the city is Tuesday, July 9, after which he will go on hiatus, and then return to pursue projects in an encore management position.

“I would like to thank Brian Moura for over 26 years of service to the Citizens of San Carlos,” said Mayor Bob Grassilli. “Brian has contributed to our city in so many areas, that his legacy will forever be remembered.”

Since being hired by the city in 1986, Moura, pictured at left, has been part of almost every facet of city governance, serving as the city’s finance director for 11 years, human resources director for four years, interim parks and recreation director, and interim economic development manager. Because he has served in so many roles, Moura said, it’s hard to isolate just a few achievements.

Through his role in economic development, for instance, Moura said he helped bring a new medical center and hospital to the city, which will open in 2014. That hospital, he said, is projected to bring $90 million in revenue to the city over the next 50 years.

“Some would say that’s almost a legacy that the city would be benefiting from for many decades after I’m gone,” he said.

Moura also highlighted his involvement in the creation of a shared services project between police, fire and park maintenance -- a project originally created to overcome a $3.5 million budget shortfall. But the project became more than a way to patch the budget, he said.

“The program has been so successful, we’ve not only increased services in all three of those areas, we’ve also saved well in excess of $3.5 million at this point,” he said. “It’s probably more like $5 million plus per year, which has helped the city return to being in the black and being able to add services.”

In fact, Moura said, the city is now expanding -- it's in a place where new positions are being created. “This year we’re adding two brand new positions," he said. "We’re adding a systems analyst in the IT division and we’re adding an economic development coordinator in the economic development division."

Moura headed another program that leased unused city land to the private sector that was left over from land development projects. “That program now is bringing in over $1 million a year to the general fund and library fund," he said, "and that’s also helping to fund city services."

Since 2007, Moura said he's been heavily involved in the city’s environmental movement, developing one of the first climate action plans in the state. The city received a Beacon Award for its climate action plan and other environmental projects.

As for technology, he said, he’s been along to see the city reach many milestones, including having one of the first public-sector websites, which launched in 1994. The city is now connected to social media and continues its decades-long tradition of using technology to enrich education, he said.

“One of our former mayors, Don Eaton, used to say when he was on the City Council that when you’re working for the city, you should aspire to leave the place better than when you got there,” Moura said. “And as I look back on the 25-plus years that I’ve been in San Carlos and look at the long list of achievements and successful projects, I think I can very confidently say I’ve met the Don Eaton test. I have done a number of things that have really impacted and improved the community, and it’s a better place than when I got here in 1986.”

As for the future, Moura's role in an encore management position means he won't be strongly tied to one position, and will serve as an advisor of sorts on various projects, some connected to government, but no one project full-time. Though Moura doesn't know specifically what he'll be doing when he comes back, he does know one thing -- that he's not yet ready to retire.

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Colin Wood former staff writer

Colin wrote for Government Technology from 2010 through most of 2016.

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