Riverside City Council named John Russo, former city manager of Alameda, California, as the new city manager of Riverside on Feb. 19.
Russo was hired out of a pool of 41 applicants to take over from the interim city manager, Lee McDougal, and was officially sworn in to office March 4.
Russo brings 22 years of experience in a variety of roles in local government, with the most recent being city manager of Alameda.
With a population of about 75,000, Alameda is smaller than Riverside, which has a population of about 316,000.
“(Riverside) is a pretty big city,” Russo said. “The biggest challenge, at least being on the front end, will be learning everything I need to learn.”
In the past, Russo has also served as council member and city attorney of Oakland, a city with approximately 100,000 more residents than Riverside.
“That variety of roles in the service of local government means I can see it from many different perspectives, and that is helpful in analyzing and creating solutions,” Russo said.
Russo said he plans on visiting California Baptist University within his first few weeks in Riverside after hearing about CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis’ impact on the city.
“His name comes up whenever you meet with leaders in Riverside,” Russo said. “His energy and his vision always come up.”
Russo’s annual salary will be $295,000, making him the highest paid city manager in the history of Riverside.