The longtime leader of the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department has been appointed interim city manager.

Alex Posada
Alex Posada

City leaders announced the selection of Alex Posada on Friday night, a day after the City Council held a special meeting to discuss behind closed doors who should temporarily replace Jason Stilwell when he retires Sept. 22.

While announcing they had chosen an interim city manager Thursday night, council members withheld the candidate’s name, saying it would be released once he signed his contract.

 “We are fortunate to have exceptional employees in the city who provide excellent service and are very pleased Alex offered to step up and serve as interim city manager to provide a smooth transition and a steady hand,” Mayor Alice Patino said.

Posada began working for the city in 1978, most recently serving as the Recreation and Parks director. 

He is by far the longest-serving department director. 

Posada was hired full time as a recreational specialist in 1979, was promoted to recreation supervisor in 1981 and to director in 1993.

Posada’s community involvement includes the Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria and United Way, and he is a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics, among other interests. 

Posada grew up in East Bay near San Francisco and attended San Jose State University.

“His knowledge of the city and Santa Maria community is a big plus, and he will provide steady continuity as the City Council seeks the permanent city manager,” the mayor said.

Council members will consider formally approving the contract with Posada at the Oct. 3 meeting.

The council has decided to select an executive recruitment firm to conduct a national recruitment for the city manager, a process that could take a few months.

If they hire from outside city staff, it will be first time in awhile that Santa Maria has not promoted from current employees to fill the top job.

Stilwell announced his resignation in early August. He began working for the city in 2015 as deputy city manager and has filled the top job since 2017.