Kate Vernez, who previously served as assistant to the Santa Monica city manager for community and government relations, has been promoted to deputy city manager for special projects.

“Kate works tirelessly to maintain and strengthen the city’s relationships with neighborhoods, businesses, community leaders, legislators at the county, state and federal levels, news media, and affiliate cities in the region,” City Manager Rod Gould said.

“Her efforts pay off time and again. She is known for her leadership of highly complex projects such as internal coordination and external agency relationships to bring light rail to Santa Monica.”

Gould noted that Vernez has taken the lead on numerous city initiatives. As assistant to the city manager, she helped develop the city’s response to the Exposition Line Construction Authority’s plan for the light rail extension to Santa Monica. She has also led the effort to involve residents in the immediate proximity of a proposed Expo maintenance facility in commenting on the design of the buffer zone.

“Kate has helped us to improve our working relations with Expo, Metro, and the design-build firm that will actually perform the work. There are literally hundreds of issues to be resolved, but we are in a better place to resolve them thanks to Kate,” added Gould.

Vernez’s work in Santa Monica involves all intergovernmental matters including the city’s federal, state and county programs, and interface with regulatory agencies.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue serving Santa Monica as we enter this unprecedented period of civic improvement,” Vernez said of the promotion. “It is really through collaboration with our council, residents, businesses, and state and federal elected officials and agencies that we can accomplish great things. I look forward to the partnerships that will make real the community’s vision for Santa Monica.”