Burlingame’s new city manager, Lisa Goldman, is looking forward to becoming part of the community with which she will be working.
Burlingame City Manager Jim Nantell actually retired at the start of 2012 but stayed on through this year while the council searched for a replacement. Goldman, 44, currently serves as the assistant city manager of Alameda. She was unanimously selected by the City Council to replace Nantell on Oct. 30 in closed session. On Monday, the council will formally approve her contract. Under the proposed contract, Goldman will receive an annual salary of $214,000.
Mayor Jerry Deal described Goldman as "extremely intelligent; a go-getter who will work well with our council.”
Goldman was interested in Burlingame because of the city’s size and active engagement. She noted it’s a well-run city. Goldman knows she has big shoes to fill but is looking forward to working with Nantell for a couple of days in December before he officially retires.
"I’m really looking forward to joining the community, meeting folks at chamber and service club events. There will be a learning curve, but I’m a quick study,” she said.
Once in office, Goldman’s first order of business will be to find a finance director — budget development will begin right away, she noted. Burlingame also has a number of long-term infrastructure projects that Goldman is excited to be a part of, such as the Broadway overpass. However, those projects are not fully funded — another big challenge for Goldman to take on.
Goldman, who currently lives in Oakland, has more than 22 years of experience in local government and nonprofits. She spent her first seven years in Palo Alto then grew up in Southern California. After graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in American history, Goldman wasn’t sure what to do. She called the local city manager, at her mother’s suggestion, in hopes of working on the new recycling projects. As an administrative intern, she was taken under the wing of the city manager who taught her about the various parts of the city.
Thinking a career in government may be her path, Goldman moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for three years with U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman. In 1995, Goldman decided to go back to school. She earned her master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She did work in tobacco control just after graduating but missed her government roots by 1999. With some networking, she landed a position with the city of Fremont in government relations. She also took on special projects through February 2007.
In 2007, Goldman took a deputy city manager job with Alameda. During 2010, she was named acting city manager. Goldman was promoted to assistant city manager after that position ended.
Goldman plans to move to Burlingame and really become part of the community she will be representing. In her free time, she’s a competitive swimmer and enjoys road cycling.
The council meets Monday, Nov. 19 at City Hall, 501 Primrose Road.
Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.