Patterson, who previously served as the city’s public works director, was tapped for the interim role during the selection process following former City Manager Susan Loftus’ retirement in November.
He was one of several candidates the city considered. The selection of the city’s top administrator involved three panels representing the City Council, city labor representatives and department heads, as well as homeowners associations and community members.
Like many municipalities during the Great Recession, Patterson noted the city weathered the worst financial challenges it had experienced in decades. During those years, the city government had to focus inward with priorities and diligently control costs, he said.
Now that the economy has begun to stabilize, he said it’s time to focus outward and look at what city agencies can do for the community.
Patterson said one recent change in the financial landscape was state legislation eliminating redevelopment agencies, which has made it more difficult to address needs such as below-market-rate housing in the community.
However, Patterson said San Mateo enjoys many economic advantages, including a thriving, well-defined downtown area and a diverse tax base with a good mix of residential and commercial spaces.
Mayor Robert Ross praised Patterson’s performance as interim city manager, saying he had a clear vision for the city’s future.
“He has our complete confidence to guide San Mateo into a new era,” Ross said.