Dee Williams-Ridley, the city manager of Berkeley, announced her new second-in-command in a memo to City Council on Tuesday.
Jovan Grogan will officially start his term as deputy city manager of Berkeley on Sept. 12 and will assist Williams-Ridley in implementing City Council directives. He has been the deputy city manager of Concord for more than a year and prior to that served as the city’s budget officer.
“I’m really just looking forward to diving into Berkeley and looking at the issues that affect the city of Berkeley,” Grogan said. “I want to ensure that the city organization is providing services that are both efficient and cost-effective.”
Williams-Ridley worked closely with external experts and an internal hiring team to select the best candidate for the position, said Timothy Burroughs, the assistant to the city manager. According to Burroughs, the city hired a consultant to conduct a nationwide search for candidates and, out of the 127 applicants, Williams-Ridley and the internal team ultimately selected Grogan for the position.
Burroughs added that Grogan was the clear choice out of all the candidates, particularly because his experience in municipal finance, budgeting, labor relations and managing infrastructure was very appealing to the hiring team.
“These were all key priorities to the city, so he’ll bring a lot to the table to improve as an organization,” Burroughs said.
While Grogan was the deputy city manager of Concord, he worked on a number of long-term projects that helped improve the fiscal sustainability of the city, including extending the Measure Q sales tax. He was also involved in labor negotiations within the city and helped develop relationships with the general public.
Grogan is very well-liked among his Concord co-workers — Joelle Fockler, the Concord city clerk, enthusiastically described what a pleasure it was to work with Grogan in Concord but added that Grogan would be a great fit for the city of Berkeley.
“Jovan, from the first day he started at Concord, he just fit in with everyone with his outgoing ways,” Fockler said. “He has a great personality and … he adapts well to any situation. So I think that Berkeley will be a good fit for him.”
Laura Hoffmeister, the mayor of Concord, said Grogan has done excellent work for the city and communicated clearly with the public about issues that are important to them. She added that he had developed good relations with his staff members and helped graph the 10-year financial trend for the city.
“He’s a great guy. He’s done a wonderful job working for the city of Concord, and I really don’t want to lose him,” Hoffmeister said. “We wish him well, obviously, and we know that our loss is certainly going to be Berkeley’s gain.”