City Manager David White Appoints Susan Cline as Santa Monica’s Assistant City Manager and Rick Valte as Public Works Director

December 20, 2021 9:01 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – City Manager David White announced today that he has named Susan Cline to serve as Santa Monica’s Assistant City Manager. Cline, the Public Works Director, has been serving as Interim Assistant City Manager since January 2021. During the past 12 months, she has worked closely with department leadership on operational functions, including providing safe, onsite, in-person services throughout the pandemic. 

“I am deeply grateful to Susan for her dedication to our City during what may have been the most difficult time in our community. It’s a testament to her love of public service and to Santa Monica,” said City Manager David White. “The continuity of her leadership and experience with how our organization functions, combined with her caring and thoughtful management style, will help ensure Santa Monica continues on our commitment to provide the highest level of service.” 

Prior to her interim role, Cline was the City’s Public Works Director since 2016. She oversaw a department of 438 employees, working in ten divisions, and managed a budget of $138 million. She joined the City in 2010 as Assistant Director of Public Works after working for six years as AECOM’s Senior Development Team Manager for the LA Unified School District, where she led all preconstruction activities for new school building projects. 

“Santa Monica is a big part of my heart. It’s my work, my home, and where I’m fortunate to raise my youngest child,” shared Assistant City Manager Susan Cline. “I’m both honored and excited that David has chosen me for this new role and will forever be grateful for the exceptional Public Works team that has helped me be better at my job thanks to their tremendous support and standard of excellence. I look forward to supporting the CMO team, working closely with my colleagues citywide, the City Council, and our community to create a bright, inclusive Santa Monica for all.” 

Cline has a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Irvine. Her role as Assistant City Manager began December 19, 2021 with a salary of $294,360. 

With the permanent move for Cline, City Manager White named Rick Valte as the new Director of Public Works. Valte has been serving as Interim Director of the department since Cline began serving as Interim Assistant City Manager in January. 

“Rick was a natural appointment for our Public Works Director. Our public works team has continued to provide the highest level of service with his leadership over this past year,” stated City Manager David White. “Rick’s breadth of experience comes from his many years of service in Santa Monica which adds incredible strength in leading one of our largest departments.” 

Valte joined the City in 2000 and over the past 21 years has served in various capacities including Civil Engineer for Construction Management, Principal Civil Engineer for Land Development and Project Development, and Watershed Program Manager. Prior to becoming Interim Public Works Director, Valte was the City Engineer and held the post of Assistant Director of Public Works since 2019.

Throughout his tenure in public works, he managed capital improvement projects, administered the City’s watershed management program and stormwater funds, and oversaw key programs in the Architecture Services, Engineering and Street Services, Resource Recovery & Recycling, and Water Resources divisions. 

“I am deeply humbled by the loyalty and dedication with which the men and women of this department continued to serve our colleagues and our community through two extremely challenging years,” said Rick Valte. “It is with these same men and women that I look forward with excitement, to taking on the coming years as we work together to restore a Santa Monica that is clean and safe for everyone.” 

Valte is a California registered professional engineer and a LEED Accredited Professional. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of the Philippines and holds a Professional Designation in Construction Management from UCLA. He is the current president of the City and County Engineers Association of Los Angeles and will take the helm of Public Works on December 19, 2021 with a salary of $253,716. 

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