Michelle Perera, the director of libraries and information has resigned effective Feb. 16, according to a letter from City Manager Cynthia Kurtz sent to city councilmembers on Tuesday.
Perera has taken a position with the city of Sunnyvale.
“Michelle was a strong leader through all these trials and has helped build a strong foundation for the future, which will lead to a renewed commitment to library services as well as rebuilding the Central Library to serve Pasadena for the next century,” Kurtz wrote. “We thank her for this, we will miss her and we wish her well in her new appointment.”
Perera is the latest top level employee to leave the city over the past several months. During that time, City Manager Steve Mermell. Police Chief John Perez and at least 11 other high level employees, including Assistant City Manager Julie Gutierrez and Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart have left the city.
Kurtz has rotated employees into the department head positions allowing long time employees to get experience leading the department for a short time.
So far no replacement for Perera has been named.
Perera began work as the Director of the Pasadena Public Library in December 2016. Since coming to the City, he has overseen continued development of programming at Central and the branch libraries.
On May 3, City officials were forced to close Central Library for a required seismic retrofit and restoration to meet life safety requirements. A structural assessment revealed that most of the building consists of unreinforced masonry. In a report on repairs to Pasadena’s Central Library, the City Council was told that seismic work on the Central Library will take several years to complete.
“The past few years have not been easy for any of the department Directors, but the Library was especially hard hit by COVID because it was required to shut down most of the public operations as residents have come to depend upon them. Then, just as the libraries were beginning to reopen, we received the shocking announcement that the Central Library was in need of major seismic repair and had to be closed.”