Santa Monica City Council Names Rick Cole as New City Manager

May 27, 2015 12:00 AM

The City Council of Santa Monica has selected Rick Cole to serve as City Manager.  Founded in 1875, the beachside City of Santa Monica has a residential population of 92,472 and is approximately 8.3 square miles. Santa Monica’s City Manager is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the City of Santa Monica, which includes implementation of City Council ordinances and policies, oversight of 14 departments and a budget of $564 million.

"Our City Council is unanimously enthusiastic about what we all agree is a perfect fit of City and Manager. Rick Cole is a respected and inspirational visionary for successful sustainability, resilience, and quality of life,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. “We took very seriously our community's contributions to the job description from which we hired Rick.  He has proven in city after city his ability to incorporate diverse input, identify shared goals, balance economic development and residential quality of life, and bring communities together."

As Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation for the City of Los Angeles, Cole is currently responsible for a  budget of $8.6 billion and oversees five city departments with more than 3,000 staff.  He also supervises LA's Chief Sustainability, Technology and Data Officers. 

For 15 years, Cole was City Manager of two Southern California cities, Ventura and Azusa.  He has been recognized as one of America's Public Officials of the Year by Governing Magazine and one of the "Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers" by Government Technology Magazine. Cole has won awards for municipal management excellence from the American Society of Public Administrators and the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, as well as for urban planning leadership from the Congress for the New Urbanism. 

Cole served 12 years on the Pasadena City Council and was Mayor when Pasadena adopted its landmark General Plan, an early model for smart growth.  Called "one of Southern California's most visionary planning thinkers" by the Los Angeles Times, he has been an active leader in the International City Managers Association and the City Managers Department of the League of California Cities.

"The City of Santa Monica today was shaped by the last three decades of remarkable Council, staff and community leadership. It is both a national model and a personal inspiration to me as a model for sustainable urban policies and practices,” said Rick Cole. “The challenge ahead is to reconcile the success of that model with powerful market forces to ensure that Santa Monica remains a city that works for everyone."

Cole will fill the position left vacant when former City Manager Rod Gould retired at the end of January this year.


Media Contact

Debbie Lee
Chief Communications Officer


City Manager's Office