The City Council chose a member of its own staff to be the city's chief administrative officer after a statewide search that lasted four months.
Jody Hall-Esser, currently director of the Community Development Department, will replace Dale Jones, who is retiring after 22 years.
Hall-Esser was chosen from 40 applicants. Council members interviewed seven finalists Saturday and voted unanimously Sunday to appoint Hall-Esser at a salary of $87,744 per year.
"(The council) found Jody's experience and ability more than equal to any outside candidate," Jones said. "She has the added advantage of knowing this city, its people and staff, and supporting the council's goals and community needs."
A city employee for 20 years, Hall-Esser has been community development director since 1979. She is a graduate of USC and is enrolled in a management program offered through Stanford University.
Jones will leave office Dec. 30. A search for Hall-Esser's replacement is under way.