|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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October 11, 2021
By David White
To the Santa Monica Community -- it is with tremendous excitement that today I begin my first day as your City Manager.
Over the past two weeks my wife and I have made the journey from Northern California and are settling into our new home and neighborhood. Over this time, we have had a chance to reflect and immerse ourselves in this special place. From early morning runs throughout the City to produce runs at the Pico Farmers Market to last minute trips to Bob’s Market for dinner ingredients and meeting so many kind and generous neighbors at National Night Out, our introduction to Santa Monica has made our hearts full.
I am incredibly eager to work with the City Council and take the time to get to know residents, business and property owners, the diverse community organizations, dedicated volunteers, and members of our Boards and Commissions that make Santa Monica a community with strong ties, and the tremendous employees that serve this community on a daily basis. As I look forward to meeting you, here’s a little bit about me.
I was born and raised in Southern California. On my journey back home, I have lived in Boston, Brooklyn, Berkeley, El Cerrito, and now Santa Monica. I have worked in both the private and public sectors. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have one daughter who just started her sophomore year at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia (Go Jaguars!). I also have two dogs, am a vegan, love coffee, love to run early in the morning, and thoroughly enjoy music.
I am passionate about local government and committed to excellence in public service. I respect this work and know there is no higher calling. Day in and day out, the talented City team that I now join is relied upon to provide services to each and every person who lives here, works here, and visits here, and our work is critical to ensuring that we are a safe, vibrant, and resilient community. I respect and value the wisdom, passion, and commitment of our City Council and look forward to advancing their priorities.
You may be wondering about my leadership style. I believe in and am committed to a collaborative and inclusive approach to solving problems. When we work together and build strong partnerships that value the input of each and every person’s perspective, I am confident that we will be successful.
Coming into this job in this moment, I am mindful that the past year and a half has been hard. The pandemic has been mentally and physically exhausting, and has had dire financial consequences. In addition, I am sober to the fact that the City organization and service levels have been deeply impacted. We have important work to do to chart a path forward to restore service levels and implement approaches to serve the community well with limited resources. It’s all possible and I am ready to get to work.
As I hit the ground running this week with an important City Council meeting tomorrow, and time scheduled to visit facilities and meet with a wide array of stakeholders, I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on a personal level. Please say hello and I very much look forward to doing the same. Hello, Santa Monica!
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