Renee Gurza, a 20-year veteran of the San Jose City Attorney’s office, will start April 15 as Morgan Hill’s new city attorney.
The City Council voted unanimously to appoint Gurza to the position at Wednesday's meeting. Gurza will replace former City Attorney Danny Wan. Wan left Morgan Hill in December 2012 for a new position as Port of Oakland General Counsel.
She will be paid an annual base salary of $178,000, which is about $10,000 less than what the City paid Wan his last year on the job, according to City staff. Wan started working in Morgan Hill in 2008.
Gurza was selected for the appointment after the City Council reviewed a number of applicants for the city attorney’s position, and interviewed the top six candidates who applied for the job, according to City staff.
Gurza will join the City of Morgan Hill after serving more than 20 years with the City of San Jose’s City Attorney’s office, City staff said. She is currently a Senior Deputy City Attorney in San Jose.
During her tenure in San Jose, Gurza revamped the City’s code enforcement program, negotiated several cable franchises, headed the City Attorney’s First Amendment advisory group on free speech, according to Morgan Hill staff.
“Renee comes to Morgan Hill with a demonstrated commitment to public service in this region, and recognized expertise in land use and planning law, which will serve us well as we continue to enhance our distinctive, smart-growth strategies through our general plan update process,” Vice Mayor Gordon Siebert said.
Last year, the City hired executive search firm Bob Murray & Associates last year to recruit candidates for a permanent replacement for Wan.
Before joining the City of San Jose, Gurza worked as a contractor on legal matters for the City of Gilroy, as a member of the private law firm Berliner Cohen in San Jose, City staff said. That firm continues to serve the City of Gilroy on legal matters.
Gurza graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, and is a graduate of Stanford University in Palo Alto.