Mr. Roberts has worked for the City of Livermore for 35 years, leading the city organization as city manager for the past ten. Mr. Roberts began his career with the city as an assistant planner, was promoted to associate planner, then special project coordinator in 1995 when he developed the city’s one-stop permit center, streamlining the permitting process and improving the experience for both staff and customers. In 1997, Mr. Roberts was promoted to assistant to the city manager and then community development director in 2000. In 2012, the then city council unanimously selected Mr. Roberts as Livermore’s city manager.
During his time with the city, Mr. Roberts has made a tremendous impact on the community that countless residents, employees, businesses, and visitors experience every day. Of note, Mr. Roberts was the project manager for the national award-winning South Livermore Valley Specific Plan, which helped revitalize Livermore’s wine country, growing from six wineries and less than 1,200 acres of vineyards in the late 1980s to over 50 wineries and more than 4,000 acres of permanently protected vineyards and open space in 2021.
Former Mayor John Marchand commented on Mr. Roberts’s influence, “Marc was appointed city manager the same year I was elected mayor and it was an honor to work with him my entire term in office. A lot has been accomplished on his watch; over 60 new pieces of public art have been added, along with an emergency operations center, and a new council chamber. The first phase of Stockmen’s Park has been completed, fulfilling a promise that the City made 59 years ago and the first of three new parks in the downtown. Livermorium Plaza will be completed next year, Veterans Park is being planned and more parking is being added to the downtown, our residents’ top priority. That’s a lot to be proud of.”
As community development director, Mr. Roberts led the team that wrote and implemented the Downtown Specific Plan, transforming Livermore’s downtown through dozens of coordinated private and public projects, including relocation of California Highway 84 and complete transformation of First Street from a four-lane highway to a quaint and vibrant pedestrian-oriented main street, filled with retail, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, bars, a movie theater, a performing arts theater, public art, and public gathering places like Lizzie Fountain and Flagpole Plaza. Downtown development has continued throughout his career, with the recent completion of Veterans Way and Stockmen’s Park, and with Livermorium Plaza and the I Street garage well underway and due to be completed in 2022.
Mr. Roberts has been involved throughout the years in the development of the civic center site, including renovation of city hall in 2002 and construction of the police department in 1995 and civic center library in 2004, as well as the recent opening of the civic center meeting hall, which houses the new city council chamber and emergency operations center.
In his capacity as city manager, Mr. Roberts oversees a $139 million budget, $91 million for capital improvement projects, and 475 employees citywide. He has appointed 15 executives and has worked with 24 council members and five mayors.
Notably, Mr. Roberts strategized and implemented a plan to address the city’s unfunded liability for retiree health benefits. He also successfully navigated the Great Recession and the current COVID-19 pandemic. He continues to direct the emergency operations center for the city, leveraging relationships with partner agencies and organizations as well as neighboring cities and local healthcare agencies to respond most efficiently and effectively. He helped bring a regional testing site to the Alameda County fairgrounds, consistent vaccination clinics to areas of need in the city, and under his leadership, more businesses opened than closed in Livermore since the start of the pandemic.
“I was lucky enough to work on everything from downtown revitalization, to reinvigorating our wine country and preserving open spaces surrounding Livermore, to enhancing the financial stability of the city so it could deliver all the services our community depends on every day,” said Mr. Roberts. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had over the decades to build teams of professionals who have accomplished a lot together and who have made Livermore the great place it is today. I’m looking forward to a long retirement here and will continue to enjoy this amazing community.”
Another impressive accomplishment during Mr. Roberts’s tenure is the city’s recognition as a 2021 All-America City in which Livermore competed nationally and earned the prestigious award for outstanding civic engagement. Over the years, Livermore has consistently ranked positively in national community surveys.
“Livermore has benefitted tremendously because of Marc’s leadership over the past decade as city manager and even prior to that in his various roles,” Mayor Bob Woerner said. “I am very thankful to have been able to work with him while on the council. He has done a great job of skillfully working with many different councils to keep us all focused on providing the Livermore community with a great quality of life. I also appreciate his giving us sufficient notice so we can have an orderly transition to a new city manager which we will now begin.”
Recruitment for a new city manager is underway with a replacement expected to be on board in May to overlap with Mr. Roberts.