Santa Monica Names New Assistant Manager, Public Works Director

Santa Monica Public Works Director and Interim Assistant City Manager Susan Cline has been promoted to the permanent Assistant City Manager’s role. City Manager David White announced her promotion last month.

“I am deeply grateful to Susan for her dedication to our City during what may have been the most difficult time in our community. It’s a testament to her love of public service and to Santa Monica,” City Manager David White said in a statement.

“The continuity of her leadership and experience with how our organization functions, combined with her caring and thoughtful management style, will help ensure Santa Monica continues on our commitment to provide the highest level of service.”

Cline said she was “honored and excited” to accept the position.

“I look forward to supporting the CMO team, working closely with my colleagues citywide, the City Council, and our community to create a bright, inclusive Santa Monica for all.”

Cline holds a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Irvine.

Cline has worked for Santa Monica since 2010 when she signed on as Assistant Director of Public Works. For the previous six years, she was AECOM’s Senior Development Team Manager for the LA Unified School District. She became the city’s Public Works Director in 2016, leading a department of 438 employees and a budget of $138 million. In January 2020, she was appointed Interim Assistant City Manager.

Rick Valte, who was named Interim Public Works Director after Cline’s January appointment, has taken over as the permanent head of Public Works. He will earn an annual salary of $253,716. Valte has served the City of Santa Monica in various capacities for more than two decades.

“Rick was a natural appointment for our Public Works Director,” said White. “Our public works team has continued to provide the highest level of service with his leadership over this past year. Rick’s breadth of experience comes from his many years of service in Santa Monica which adds incredible strength in leading one of our largest departments.”