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Friday, January 18 , 2019, 6:37 pm | Fair 58º


Casey Says Interim Appointment to Top Santa Barbara Post Is ‘Honor and Privilege’

Paul Casey, Santa Barbara's longtime community development director and assistant city administrator, will take over the city's top job on Oct. 6.

Paul Casey

The City Council this week selected Casey, 49, to serve as interim city administrator when current top executive Jim Armstrong retires.

"It's an honor and a privilege," Casey told Noozhawk of his interim assignment.

Casey, known for his calm demeanor and ability to explain complex issues to the City Council and the public, will run the city while officials conduct a "nationwide search" to find a permanent replacement for Armstrong.

The appointment of Casey, well liked by Armstrong and the City Council, was expected.

“Paul’s appointment will ensure a smooth transition for city departments while a nationwide recruitment is under way," Mayor Helene Schneider said. "He has a wealth of experience managing city departments and a strong understanding of issues facing Santa Barbara.”

The council will appoint Casey permanently to the position or hire someone from the outside by early January 2015.

Casey took over the community development director position from Dave Davis more than a decade ago, and then spent eight years as the city's top planner.

During that time, he led the city through battles over community issues, such as updating the neighborhood-preservation ordinance, the general plan and decisions about downtown redevelopment.

Four years ago, Armstrong moved Casey over to serve as assistant city administrator, splitting his time between Community Development and City Hall.

As assistant city administrator, Casey's job description broadened, and he provided oversight to the finance, parks and recreation, library and airport departments.

He also at one point served as interim public works director. Casey also held various roles in Santa Monica.

Casey, who earned about $200,000 last year as assistant city administrator, will oversee the city's 10 departments and a budget of $275 million. He said he plans to "work harder" than ever during the transition period.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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