John Russo, former Alameda city manager and Oakland city council member, was hired as the Riverside city manager on Feb. 19, according to city officials. The 56-year-old will become the permanent replacement for the current interim city manager Scott Barber.
“John Russo really stood out among the many exceptional candidates who sought to lead our city’s more than 2,400 employees,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a press release. “His breadth of knowledge on the issues facing California, as well as his commitment to providing residents with a high degree of customer service, made him our top choice.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Russo holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Yale and a law degree from New York University. Working as an Oakland private attorney for 11 years, Russo was drawn to Riverside initiatives such as Seizing Our Destiny, which involves the city’s strategic blueprint for increasing economic innovation and sustainable green initiatives. Russo’s past initiatives include obtaining rights to redevelop the Alameda Naval Air Station into a hotspot for increased economic prosperity.
He will begin on May 4 and earn a yearly salary of $295,000.