Lt. Gov. Leo T. McCarthy has hired Santa Monica City Councilman Alan Katz as his chief of staff.
Katz, who was appointed to the council in 1985 and won election last year, said he will continue to serve on the council and live in Santa Monica.
"I've known Alan Katz for a few years and I like the way he handles himself in a variety of settings," McCarthy said Thursday. "Alan Katz's role will be to look after my obligations as lieutenant governor and make sure we're on track and pursuing our legislative programs in Sacramento."
Katz will supervise a staff of 30 in four offices. He said he will be based in McCarthy's Los Angeles office and will travel to offices in San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco several days each week.
"I think this is a unique opportunity," Katz said. "It will be a challenge and I like challenges."
Katz and McCarthy said they believe Katz will be able to continue functioning as an active council member while working what his new boss said is "a six-day-a-week job."
"The understanding Alan and I have is that he must fulfill his obligation to the Santa Monica City Council," McCarthy said. "We will accommodate that."
Since the November election, Katz, who does not belong to either of the main political factions in Santa Monica, has been the swing vote on the seven-member City Council. Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights and the All Santa Monica Coalition each hold three seats on the council.
The 34-year old Katz, a native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., has long been active in Democratic politics. He worked for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley in his 1982 gubernatorial campaign and is an ally of the Berman-Waxman political group headed by Reps. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City).
Katz, a former investigating attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission, will leave his family's business, which markets group insurance to small businesses, to take the $70,000-a-year job with McCarthy. He will retain part ownership in the insurance firm.
McCarthy, who has said he is considering a run for the Senate in 1988 or governor in 1990 said, "I have not thought of him (Katz) as having a campaign role, but as chief of staff. He would be the central figure in formulating policy in the office." Katz will also, "run a good internal operation and will strengthen ties for me with many people," he said.
Rose King, McCarthy's outgoing chief of staff, said she was leaving the "rather demanding position" to return to her political consulting and direct-mail business. She said she will continue to work with McCarthy as a consultant.