Video of Pat O’Keeffe announcement at Dec 4th meeting
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City manager Pat O’Keeffe announced he is retiring in March, 2013. just a few short months away. He did not provide any explanation. O’Keeffe came to Emeryville approximately 18 years ago from El Cerrito, where he was in charge of Economic Development. He was hired by former City Manager John Flores. He hired O’Keeffe to negotiate the deal points with developers. He is someone who likes to get things done. He can probably be credited for having negotiated many of the major project agreements. With redevelopment the City Manager had millions of dollars to offer to developers to entice or encourage. The job is not as interesting. The loss of Delores Turner was a blow, she ran the Staff.
The loss of all the opportunity redevelopment had to offer. O’Keeffe was on the Board of Directors for the California Redevelopment Association. An association of Redevelopment agencies across the state. to monitor and advocate for state legislation affecting redevelopment agencies. O”Keeffe lived redevelopment.
Aside from the politics of how the City Manager would move major development projects through the approval process. O’Keeffe to his credit, usually negotiated good deals for the City. Almost every major developer would comment as to what a tough negotiator O’Keeffe was. Although some question the need to provide any economic assistance to attract development, that’s what redevelopment was all about. The results of what Emeryville has done speaks for itself.
The City of Emeryville has redeveloped 65% of the City’s land mass, in the last 20 years. Emeryvile has moved into a new era with the end of redevelopment, Pat O’Keeffe announced retirement is not unexpected. It is a sign of the changing times. The Staff has put forward a new General Plan, which is too restrictive. The Plan has and lots of new parks and amenities which the city can never accomplish with the new restrictions. It’s yesterdays ideas in todays world. The new general plan was created with little imput from property owners. Problems lie ahead when you try to force property owners to do things they don’t know about. The selection of the next City Manager is not an easy decision to make. There is no one at City Hall who could take the job. O’Keeffe said will stay until March for a smooth transition.