They call the City Manager position essentially the “CEO” of Union City. “The City Manager serves as the chief executive officer of the City and is responsible for managing and coordinating all day-to-day operations and administration. “ ~From Union City’s website
During my interview with Tony Acosta he mentions being called by a few other names.
When I asked Tony when and how he first felt called to work in public service. He began with a story of growing up in Inglewood, CA. Tony wanted to become a boy scout, nurturing his love of being outdoors. As we spoke it was clear to me that Tony’s track record proves he chooses to live by that most basic Boy Scout Credo “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.”
After graduating from U.C. Berkeley Tony took a job with Oakland’s Parks and Rec department. There they called him “College Boy” at the beginning when he was perhaps a bit over educated for the entry level job. Yet, in his 23 year career with Oakland, he eventually worked his way up to become the Director of Parks and Recreation. His supervisor, who he credits as a mentor, wanted Tony for the job because he was an unbiased new employee. Tony learned from him the importance of choosing and hiring staff based on their character traits, like loyalty, qualities that are often more important than what is in ones resume.
After a short stint as a consultant Tony Acosta took a position here in Union City serving as Deputy City Manager since 2001, and now as of 2015, our City Manager. Mr. Acosta discusses the challenges of his leadership position, overcoming budget concerns, and making the tough recommendations of where and how our budget is best spent. During his years working for Union City he has helped to lead the creation of programs like the New Haven Unified School District’s Kid Zone program and the Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention Program. Tony does not, however, take much credit for his accomplishments. Instead he gives credit to the incredible city employees on staff with him.
In our interview Tony takes the time to highlight the diverse and well qualified members that serve in our City Council. He also calls attention to Union City’s Police Department. Specifically the work our Police Chief and entire department have done to “lead the way on how police-community trust should be built” – From Police Chief McAllister’s letter to Union City Residents
We covered many topics in our talk. One thing was repeatedly made clear, the pride Tony Acosta has in our diverse city.
“We are proud that we had the first Japanese American Mayor in American history, just 15 years after he was interred in a Japanese concentrations camp, Mayor Tom Kityama. We have always stood for inclusion. We have always stood for respecting everyone. I can assure everyone listening…Our community is very diverse…..We have not changed the way that we roll in Union City. Everyone is welcome.”
Reach Tony Acosta:
34009 Alvarado-Niles Road
Union City, California 94587
Phone (510) 675-5351
Fax (510) 441-2943