Palo Alto Human Resources Manager Rumi Portillo plans to retire at the end of May, City Manager Ed Shikada said in a report released Thursday.
Portillo, who began her role at Palo Alto in January 2016, will be replaced in the department’s lead role by Sandra Blanch, a City Hall veteran who currently serves as assistant director of human resources. Blanch has worked for the city for 28 years and served as acting director of human resources in 2011-2012.
“Over the past six years, Human Resources Director Portillo and Deputy Human Resources Director Sandra Blanch have worked closely together to lead the city through many difficult personnel and political issues,” Shikada’s report reads. . “More recently, their strong management, effective leadership and round-the-clock support have helped the organization meet the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. Palo Alto is fortunate that Ms. Blanch has the qualifications, leadership and skills to fill the position of director. .”
City Council must approve Blanch’s nomination on April 18. She will receive an annual salary of $238,450.
Shikada plans to coordinate Blanch’s appointment to the department’s leadership position to coincide with Portillo’s retirement, according to the report.