Ex-Oakland Administrator Up for Sunnyvale City Manager Post?

Deanna Santana, Oakland’s top bureaucrat when the city came under fire for blasting tear gas and skull-cracking beanbag rounds (literally) at Occupy protesters in 2011, riled up so much controversy and so many police misconduct lawsuits that she had people crying for her resignation years ago. She began looking for an out, courting jobs as far as Dallas and prompting local media to question her loyalty to the embattled East Bay city. In March, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan axed Santana from her post as city administrator, to the glee of organized labor and progressives who reportedly couldn’t stand her. But Sunnyvale seems willing to look past the scandal and multimillion dollar legal tempest incurred by her heavy-handed reign. Sources say Santana, a deputy city manager in San Jose before her controversial stint up north, may be coming back to South Bay if she lands the job as Sunnyvale city manager, a position open since Gary Luebbers retired in December. Sunnyvale spokeswoman Jennifer Garnett says she can’t confirm whether Santana is one of the candidates up for consideration, or even how many people have made it to the final round of interviews, since that’s a private personnel matter. She did say the council met in closed session Tuesday to talk about the main contenders. Garnett expects to make an announcement on a new city manager pick soon, though. The prospect of Santana bringing her polarizing brand of leadership to the relatively quiet Silicon Valley town has some people on edge. “It’s crazy if they decide to hire into controversy,” an observer who worked with Santana during her San Jose days told Fly. “Word is, the council’s divided.”

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Be classy Sunnyvale! With San Jose & Oakland in disarray, you don’t want to join their ranks. Occupy Sunnyvale sounds inviting though!

  2. She was a disaster in SJ backing triple dipped pension parasite,figone! Sunnyvale can do much better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *