Emeryville selects Carolyn Lehr as new City Manager. Michael Guina promoted to City Attorney

2 mins read

When Sabrina Landreth announced she would be leaving Emeryville back in February to join Libby Schaaf in Oakland (Berkeley’s City Manager Christine Daniel has since announced she will also be leaving for Oakland to fill the assistant city administrator position), consulting firm Avery Associates was again retained to lead the search for a replacement. The City posted a listing back in March that detailed the description of the position including the ultimate goal of “community building.” “I am very pleased to announce that the City Council has reached agreement on both the City Manager and City Attorney appointments” noted outgoing City Manager Landreth through an internal memo.

After conducting a national search, it was announced that current Chowchilla (near Merced) City Manager Carolyn Lehr has been selected amongst the pool of candidates to take over the important role. In addition, Assistant City Attorney Michael Guina was selected to move into the City Attorney role. Lehr brings a combined thirteen years of City Manager experience to the position. “I am very excited about the quality leadership they bring to this City” added Landreth. Lehr will begin her new job on June 19th, which will also be Sabrina’s final day. Both Lehr and Guina’s contracts will be up for formal approval at the June 16th City Council meeting.

Carolyn Lehr’s Background

[youtube id=”MVOpzfmjlDI” width=”620″ height=”360″]
An interview with Lehr while City Manager at Rancho Palos Verdes can be viewed above.

Lehr grew up in Sacramento and attended Sacramento State before transferring to San Jose State for her undergraduate degree. She received her Masters of Public Administration at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her municipal career began in Parks and Recreation during college, and later transitioned into various mid-management roles in Finance, HR, and Community Development. In addition to over 25 years in local government, Carolyn spent seven years in product administration for a Silicon Valley company and also served as public relations director for a community hospital. In addition to serving as City Manager of Rancho Palos Verdes, Lehr also held the position in Keego Harbor, MI and Monte Sereno (A small, affluent town near Los Gatos). She also served locally as the Community Development Manager for Sunnyvale from 1986-93. Her LinkedIn profile with a full list of her 36 years of professional experience and qualifications can be viewed online.

Lehr’s management style is described as “collaborative and works to foster creativity and a passion for excellence throughout the organization”. She is married to IT professional Tony Scott, who is currently assigned in Washington DC. Lehr and her husband have two grown sons who both reside in West LA. Lehr lists her hobbies as home remodeling, boating (she picked a good place to continue this!), entertaining, travel, private aviation, civic involvement, gardening & arts and crafts.

Michael Guina steps into City Attorney position


Earlier this year the City Council began its search for a City Attorney following the announcement of Michael Biddle’s retirement. The City Council has reached a tentative agreement with Assistant City Attorney Michael Guina to become the new City Attorney beginning July 1st. Michael was first hired in February 2003 as the Deputy City Attorney. In 2007 Michael was promoted to the Assistant City Attorney position and served in that capacity through 2012. He left the City to join the Oakland firm of Burke, Williams & Sorensen (where in fact Michael Biddle will be heading after his departure on July 1st) as a partner and returned to Emeryville in July 2013. Landreth noted that Guina’s selection should provide continuity to the City Attorney’s Office and ongoing support to all the City’s departments.

Feature Image: Carolyn Lehr being sworn in as interim City Administrator of Chowchilla (Photo: Merced Sun-Star).

Further Reading & Resources:

RPV City Manager to Step Down | Palos Verdes Patch

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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