MORAGA -- The last time officials in this Lamorinda city looked for a new town manager, they crossed the Rocky Mountains to find him.

This time around, they only needed to cross the Oakland hills.

Fremont Community Development Director Jill Keimach is set to become Moraga's next town manager and its fourth since 2008.

The Town Council is set to vote on her appointment Wednesday.

Mike Segrest, who currently holds the job, announced in May he was leaving for personal reasons.

If the council approves the employment agreement, Keimach will begin Nov. 1 and make $168,000 per year, plus benefits. She made $206,881 in Fremont in 2009. Segrest currently makes $180,000 in base salary.

Unlike Segrest, who had to relocate from Colorado upon his 2009 appointment, Keimach will not receive a housing allowance.

Segrest said he will stay on until the end of October but has not talked with Keimach about the transition.

Keimach is a UC Berkeley alumna who has worked for a number of local agencies, including El Cerrito, BART, Walnut Creek and the Association of Bay Area Governments. She said she is looking forward to getting to know Moraga's residents.

"The town of Moraga is a wonderful community that appreciates and preserves its open space, and I also am anxious to work with the town on improving or creating a viable commercial core to help with bringing in additional sales tax to the community," she said.


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As Fremont's community development director, Keimach oversees the city's planning, building and engineering departments. She has also been involved in nearly every large project in the city over the past few years, said Fremont Councilwoman Anu Natarajan, who called losing Keimach "a big, big, big blow to Fremont."

Keimach understands the link between good planning and economic development, Natarajan said.

"She doesn't look at economic development as being a couple of Walmarts and sales tax dollars," she said. "She understands what it takes to market a community and do the infrastructure and get it to the point where you attract people to move in."

Economic development experience was a key attribute council members were seeking in their next town manager. Part of Keimach's job will be to revitalize the town's slumping business climate and oversee making the recently approved downtown plan a reality.

"She brings a wealth of experience, a wonderful attitude and I think she's going to be a tremendous asset as part of the team," said Vice Mayor Karen Mendonca, "so I am looking forward to welcoming her to Moraga."

Contact Jonathan Morales at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/sosaysjonathan.