Berkeley Deputy City Manager David White is departing the city after two years to serve as Santa Monica’s city manager in Southern California beginning in mid-October.

Santa Monica city officials selected White for the position during a special meeting on Thursday. White is a Southern California native who grew up in Studio City and attended UCLA, and sees the new position as a homecoming, the city said in a news release.

“Santa Monica is a wonderful community and I am eager to engage and work closely with the City Council, staff, residents, and businesses implementing City Council’s top priorities — achieving a clean and safe Santa Monica, addressing homelessness, and ensuring an equitable and inclusive economic recovery,” White said in a statement.

Before Berkeley, White was city manager in Fairfield for five years. He will be replacing Interim City Manager John Jalili after the previous appointment, Montebello City Manager René Bobadilla, turned down the role in June.

Berkeley City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley said White led “some of the most complex efforts in the city” during his short time in the post, including policing changes in Berkeley, implementation of a new Police Accountability Board approved by voters and city budget matters.

“Throughout his time, I have appreciated Dave’s eagerness to dive into these and other issues, where he has demonstrated an ability to perform at a high level of skill and leadership,” Williams-Ridley said in a statement. “He will be missed.”

White started off in the Berkeley position earning $210,447.24 in salary and benefits annually in 2019, according to the Transparent California database. He will oversee almost 2,000 employees and a city budget of $705.5 million (over $100 million higher than Berkeley’s) in Santa Monica, according to the city, and his new contract will be finalized at a City Council meeting on July 27.

Supriya Yelimeli is a housing and homelessness reporter for Berkeleyside and joined the staff in May 2020 after contributing reporting since 2018 as a freelance writer. Yelimeli grew up in Fremont and...