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    LB's New City Mgr. Is...Gerald Miller, Was Serving As Acting City Mgr.

    (May 13, 2003. updated from initial Flash postings) -- At a 4:00 p.m. City Hall press event held in the Council Chamber, flanked by eight of nine Councilmembers, televised on HTTV Channel 21 and cheered by city staff, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill announced LB's new City Manager is Gerald R. Miller...who for the past seven months has served as LB's Acting City Manager.

    City Mgr Miller May 13/03
    HTTV, Cable Channel 21

    City Mgr Miller May 13/03
    HTTV, Cable Channel 21
    Mayor O'Neill said the Council's recruitment efforts began in January, concluded this week, and "the Council considered a number of exceptionally qualified candidates...There were 31 candidates from 11 different states...We interviewed eight candidates." The Mayor said the Council voted unanimously to offer the City Manager position to Mr. Miller and he accepted. [extended applause from city staff in Council Chamber]

    Mr. Miller, who assumed the responsibilities of Acting City Manager following the Council's dismissal of former City Manager Henry Taboada effective Oct. '02, was praised by Mayor O'Neill and Councilmembers:

  • Mayor O'Neill: For the last seven months, we have had the opportunity to witness Jerry's outstanding management and leadership capabilities...The longer Gerry served in his Acting role, the more impressed all of us were...As you know, Jerry did not file an application for this position as we was Acting City Manager, it would have been an awkward position, but we did offer him an invitation for an interview in the final round. The reexamination of our [city's] uniqueness combined with Jerry's superior leadership during some very trying times persuaded us to unanimously determine that the best person for the job was Jerry Miller. We thank him for his extraordinary dedication to his Acting capacity over the last few months and for his willingness to formally accept the position...So on behalf of the City Council, please accept our monumental gratitude and sincerest congratulations [on] your new official title, Jerry...

  • Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal: I think what you just heard was the applause of confidence. We have confidence in you too...I'm very, very excited about working with you in the years to come.

  • Councilman Dan Baker: Congratulations, Jerry. Seven months ago, the Council made a very difficult decision to say that we need a change in the way the city operated, and I think quite honesty there was some skepticism that it might not change over the seven month period that we've just experienced, but I think everyone in the room here today can attest to the fact that we are running differently, we are running very efficiently as a city, and very importantly we are incorporating community involvement in every aspect of our city operations. I think that's something that you believe in...I'm very impressed with the professionalism in every aspect of the job I've seen for the last seven months...

  • Vice Mayor Frank Colonna: Jerry, I want to just point out how outstanding a job you've done over the last seven months...You've got our full confidence that you can do that job...

  • Councilman Dennis Carroll: ...I'm convinced we have far and away the most experienced, the person with the kind of skills that allow us to work together towards a common goal, that was demonstrated by Jerry's tremendous initiative with respect to the budget crisis...

  • Councilwoman Jackie Kell: ...We have a candidate with excellent credentials, sterling character, and obviously is beloved by this Council.

  • Councilwoman Laura Richardson: ...Jerry's knowledge of Long Beach and our neighborhoods and our priorities, when you look at the Voice Your Choice survey, the community's priorities, I think he clearly understand those and he's committed to addressing them..

  • Councilman Rob Webb: Ditto everything they said...

  • Councilman Val Lerch: ...Within seven months, this man -- it became very apparent to me -- that he was the man that was going to lead this city into a new era, an era that was open and transparent to the entire community...And I've become the biggest fan of this man, and I'm looking forward to working with you over the next few years...
  • (The Mayor quipped that Councilwoman Reyes-Uranga, absent from the proceedings, was probably "driving frantically to get here.")

    The Mayor introduced newly named City Manager Miller, who said:

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as the next City Manager of Long Beach. I know you've looked at many other candidates for this position, and I am honored and humbled by your confidence in me. I assure you that I'm going to do everything I can to demonstrate that that confidence is well placed.

    The city faces many challenges and it's frankly a very complex time, and I want to acknowledge the Mayor's and the City Council's leadership and commitment to making Long Beach a better city.

    City Mgr Miller May 13/03
    HTTV, Cable Channel 21

    I also ask that city management and all of our employees work with me to assist the Mayor and the City Council to make the city safer and cleaner, to make the city fiscally stronger, to help the organization engender more trust, to ensure that as we evolve new development projects, we balance this development with the ongoing commitment to address the needs of our neighborhoods, to protect our parks and open space.

    I would also like to express my special thanks to many city staff, to many city residents, to businesspeople who have encouraged me over the past seven months, who have said kind things and encouraging things. I deeply appreciate your support and I deeply appreciate your encouragement.

    Again, I'd like to thank the Mayor and the entire City Council for your patience and support over the past seven months...And let me just simply say in closing, I really can't imagine a better situation than to be living and working in the same city and to see myself as a City Manager of Long Beach is a dream come true.

    I thank you all very much for allowing that to happen. [extended applause]

    In a written release, Mayor O'Neill's office provided the following information about Mr. Miller's career with the City of LB:

    Mr. Miller has over 25 years experience with the City of Long Beach. He became the Acting City Manager in October 2002, after serving as Assistant City Manager since January 1999. In addition to providing administrative support to the City Manager and several City departments, including Police, Fire, Financial Management and Oil Properties, Mr. Miller, in his role as Assistant City Manager, coordinated City Intergovernmental Relations, Citizen Police Complaint Commission and Public Information functions in the City Managerís Office. Prior to his appointment as Assistant City Manager, Mr. Miller served as the Deputy City Manager.

    Mr. Miller also previously worked in the Cityís Department of Community Development and spent nine years as Manager of the Economic Development Bureau. During this period Mr. Miller had broad responsibility for City lending, tax credit, marketing, workforce development and other business development programs.

    Mr. Miller served as the Cityís principal point of contact for area base closure and reuse planning efforts stemming from the 1991 decision of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission to close the Long Beach Naval Station, Naval Hospital and Naval Family Housing facilities, and the subsequent decision in 1995 to close the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. The Cityís Naval Properties Reuse Plans have been praised by the Department of Defense, Department of Navy, Department of Commerce and the National Council for Urban Economic Development.

    Mr. Millerís professional affiliations include the International City/County Management Association, Urban Land Institute, and the National Council for Urban Economic Development. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Conservation Corps Long Beach, Long Beach Area Council of the Boy Scouts, Los Angeles-Long Beach World Trade Center Association, and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Miller also serves as representative for area City Managers on the I-710 Freeway Oversight Policy Committee for the Gateway Cities Council of Governments. Mr. Miller was a Past Chair of the Economic Development Committee of the California Space and Technology Alliance and a past member of the Employment and Training Advisory Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

    Mayor O'Neill indicated that verbal agreement has been reached on Mr. Miller's compensation package and details are expected to be finalized by week's end.

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