Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has appointed City Hall veteran Anne Campbell Washington as her chief of staff to placate her critics.
Washington is a "consummate professional," Quan said in a press statement. Washington had held various high ranking positions in the past and had served as chief of staff for former Mayor Jerry Brown during 2003-2004.
As chief of staff, Washington will serve as Quan's senior policy adviser and will oversee the mayor's office and staff.
Washington, who replaces Sharon Cornu (Quan's deputy mayor who resigned last week) will work closely with the City Council, the City Administrator Deanna Santana and other agency directors.
The new appointment is an effort by Quan to gain public support. Quan's popularity has been on the wane ever since Occupy Oakland movement began.
Cornu was one of the four members in Quan's administration to quit recently due, in part, to her questionable handling of the Occupy Oakland encampments.
This is a first for Quan to appoint a chief of staff as the mayor till now had preferred, instead, to work with two deputy mayors - Lewis Cohen and Sharon Cornu.
However, it was clear that having two deputy mayors didn't help Quan's popularity ratings and Cornu herself said in a post-resignation interview that the deputy mayor job was not a good fit.
"I think she needs a strong staff organization," SFGate.com quoted her as saying.
Washington did not say what she'll do to help Quan regain confidence in the people but acknowlegded that "We have to be creative."
The mayor is currently focusing on improving the city's economy, public safety, jobs and education.
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