San Mateo, CA — Following an extensive search for the best candidate to lead San Mateo forward, Drew Corbett has been chosen as the next city manager.
Corbett, who currently serves as assistant city manager and finance director, will officially take the reins from retiring City Manager Larry Patterson on December 21, 2018. The City Council chose Corbett for his wealth of technical expertise as well as direct experience with the community.
“We’ve chosen a new city manager who can hit the ground running and keep us moving forward,” said Mayor Rick Bonilla. “Drew has proven himself to be a skilled leader who’s in touch with our community’s culture and is experienced with our finances, staff and major projects. I’m confident in his abilities to help us address future challenges.”
Corbett will oversee an organization that includes nearly 700 employees collectively serving a community of about 105,000 residents with an annual operating budget of $170 million. Corbett earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has private as well as public sector experience.
The 45-year-old came to work for San Mateo after two years as Menlo Park’s finance director, and eight years with Sunnyvale’s finance department. Prior to his municipal experience, he spent five years as a project manager with Intel and worked as an elementary school teacher before graduate school. He’s spent the last three years as San Mateo’s finance director, two of which he jointly served as assistant city manager.
“It is an honor to follow Larry Patterson, who has done an amazing job moving key Council initiatives forward and creating a strong foundation for high performance in our organization,” Corbett said. “The ability to work across the entire organization and have a positive mark on the City is what inspired me to take this next step. I look forward to collaborating with our residents, business community, Council and staff to continue to elevate San Mateo as a great place to live and work.”
Corbett said his initial priorities will center on creating lasting stability and progress within San Mateo. Key initiatives include overseeing the update of the City’s General Plan, progressing on a massive overhaul of the wastewater treatment system known as the Clean Water Program, leveraging voter-approved Measure S sales tax funds to improve infrastructure, and engaging the community in local governance.
Patterson, who held the position for five years, said knowing Corbett will be the next city manager enables him to feel more comfortable retiring.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in San Mateo over the last few years. We’ve recovered from the recession, we’re making substantial reinvestments in our infrastructure and we’re at a critical juncture where we get to plan for the future,” Patterson said. “I am extremely confident Drew will build upon this success.”
Corbett will be responsible for hiring department heads, a number of whom are nearing retirement, as well as a new finance director.
The City Council announced Corbett’s appointment and is still in the process of salary negotiations. A regional analysis of the employment market indicated Patterson’s current $255,938 annual salary was slightly below the average city manager compensation.
Corbett lives in San Jose with his wife, who is an attorney with the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, and their 13-year-old daughter. When not at work or spending time with family, Corbett is often found running as he trains for what will be his 18th marathon.