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Pasadena City Manager Mermell to Retire Later This Year

Published on Monday, September 20, 2021 | 11:21 pm
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell

City Manager Steve Mermell will retire later this year, according to an email obtained by Pasadena Now.

Mermell’s retirement is effective Dec. 2.

“I wanted to let you know I will be retiring from the city on Dec. 2 and have just advised the City Council of my plans,” Mermell said in an email that went out to city employees late Monday night.

“Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of city employees and I count many of you as friends and all of you as colleagues. Day in and day out you provide exceptional service to our community and it shows. It will always be a great source of pride for me to have served as your City Manager.”

Mermell said he has committed to assisting in the transition to a new City Manager. 

In the email, Mermell did not state the reason for his decision.

Some residents have been calling on the City Council to terminate Mermell for failing to fire the police officers involved in the fatal officer-involved shooting of Anthony McClain on Aug. 15, 2020. 

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. 

Police Chief John Perez previously announced his intentions to resign early next year. 

The City Council chose Mermell to lead the city out of the embezzlement scandal after Michael Beck resigned to take a job at UCLA in 2016. Mermell led the city through coping with a budget deficit, several police controversies and the Coronavirus.

At the time he was hired the city’s website listed the starting base salary at $292,000 a year. Mermell currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rachel, a faculty member at Los Angeles Mission College, and sons Jacob and Ethan.  

Pasadena has a Council-Manager government, which calls for the elected City Council to serve as the city’s primary legislative body and appoint a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations, to draft a budget, and to implement and enforce the Council’s policy and legislative initiatives.

The City Manager oversees 14 of the city’s 16 departments, including the Police and Fire departments. The City Clerk Mark Jomsky and City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris answer to the City Council.

He moved into the top position after working in a number of departments over 27 years.

He formerly served as one of two Assistant City Managers.

Mermell has worked for the City of Pasadena since 1989. He began his career as an administrative analyst at Pasadena Water and Power. In the Finance Department, he served as Purchasing Administrator, Budget Administrator and Deputy Director of Finance before being promoted to Assistant City Manager, then in February, Interim City Manager.

Mermell’s resignation means that Mayor Victor Gordo will follow in the footsteps of the city’s other two elected mayors in modern times when he leads the City Council through the process of choosing another City Manager.

Bill Bogaard led the process to choose Michael Beck and Terry Tornek was at the helm when Mermell was selected.

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