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Local News

Paul Casey Named Santa Barbara City Administrator

Paul Casey

The Santa Barbara City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to appoint Paul Casey to the position of city administrator.

Casey was former city administrator Jim Armstrong's protegé, and had been considered the front-runner for the position.

The city of Santa Barbara on Tuesday said Casey's new salary had not been finalized, but that he made $230,205 annually as Assistant City Administrator.

"I really appreciate the opportunity," Casey said during Tuesday's City Council meeting. "We have a lot of issues to face, but I am thrilled and I am excited, and I will do my best."

More than 37 people applied for the position, which has been open since Armstrong's retirement in September. Casey will oversee the city's $277 million budget.

"We’re very pleased that Paul emerged as the top candidate, with a wealth of experience and knowledge of local government issues,” said Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, who added at the meeting that she was "going to put him to work right away."

Casey, 49, has worked for the city for the last 17 years. He spent most of the time as the city's community development director, before working as assistant city administrator for the last four years.

Prior to joining Santa Barbara, he worked with the city of Santa Monica as the assistant to the director of Planning and Community Development, senior planner and transportation planner.

Casey received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the UC Irvine and a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.

He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Mary McMaster, and their three daughters, Natalie, Claire, and Katherine.

Casey, known for his calm, easy-going demeanor and ability to explain complex issues to the City Council and the public, 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 the Community Development Department 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 served as interim public works director. 

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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