San Jose City Manager David Sykes will retire this July after 34 years with the city.
Sykes notified staff of his decision last Wednesday, the same day a Valley Transportation Authority employee opened fire on rail yard colleagues, killing nine people.
It has been a stressful few years for Sykes. He started out in the Public Works Department and eventually worked his way up to Director. He was then appointed City Manager in 2017. That same year, torrential rains devastated the city. As emergency operations director, Sykes shouldered much of the blame for the city’s lack of preparedness. Three years later, the coronavirus would kill over 2,000 Santa Clara County residents, many of them in the hard-hit region of East San Jose.
Sykes said he is proud of what San Jose has been able to accomplish under such enormous pressure. He hasn’t outlined any plans for retirement but says he intends to stay in the area.