Courtesy of the LA Times

This was unexpected. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is recommending Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards to be the next General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Edwards has accepted, although she must be confirmed (or rejected) by the Los Angeles City Council, which could take a month.

Edwards was appointed interim city manager in May of 2013, and become the permanent city manager two months later on July 2. Prior to that, she has been general manager of the Anaheim Public Utilities since 2001, and served simultaneously as assistant city manager from 2009 to 2011 under then-City Manager Tom Wood. She came to Anaheim from the DWP.

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray had this to say:

“It is always hard to lose a great talent like Marcie Edwards. But at the same time I am incredibly proud that she is being recognized for this historic appointment. It affirms that Anaheim is led by the best and the brightest and that our City Council was right to entrust the management of our city to a professional of her caliber.

“Her leadership stabilized the city at a critical time and should she be confirmed for this appointment, I am confident the city has a strong bench of successors and department heads to carry on her hard work in Anaheim.”

I’m sure some might spin this as Edwards looking to bail out of Anaheim city government’s fractured politics, but the reality is that for someone of her background, this is a historic opportunity and she’d be crazy to pass up the chance to run the LA DWP. She’ll be the first woman general manager of the largest municipal utility in the country and get to follow in the footsteps of William Mulholland.

At the same time, Anaheim will be getting its fourth city manager in fewer than four years.

Given what is in the hopper – Convention Center expansion, Angels negotiations, union negotiations, charter amendments and single-member districts on the ballot, not to mention what are shaping up to be contentious mayoral and council campaigns — my hunch is Assistant City Manager Paul Emery will be made interim city manager through the election, after which a formal search could be done. At least, that would be the sensible thing to do.

This is the second time this week an Orange County official has been tapped to take over a large LA department: a few days ago it was announced OC Undersheriff John Scott would take over as Interim LA County Sheriff.

UPDATED: Here’s the LA Times story:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday continued his effort to overhaul the leadership of the city’s much-criticized municipal utility and curb the influence of its powerful employees union by nominating a new agency boss and dismissing a top-ranking executive.

Garcetti recommended Anaheim City Manager Marcie Edwards as the new general manager of the Department of Water and Power, which has been struggling to manage a series of controversies over spending and customer service.

Edwards, who ran Anahiem’s utility and previously worked at the DWP for more than two decades, was chosen because she has the experience  to run one of the nation’s largest municipal utilities like a business, a knowledgeable City Hall source said. Garcetti has “absolutely no doubt she will be tough, but fair, in dealing with the union,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because the mayor hadn’t yet announced the changes.

You can the read the rest here.