Former Thousand Oaks City Manager Mitnick to lead El Segundo
by Kevin Cody
Despite Mayor Drew Boyles being in Mexico and councilman Chris Pimentel being in Sweden, El Segundo’s city council unanimously approved veteran municipal administrator Scott Mitnick as the city’s new city manager at its June 18 city council meeting. Boyles and Pimentel participated in the unanimous vote by speaker phone.
“This may be the first time we’ve all agreed on something,” Councilman Scot Nicol said after the vote.
“Selecting a city manager is the most important thing we do,” Councilman Don Brann added.
Mitnick’s selection was the result of a four month, nationwide search to replace city manager Greg Carpenter, who is retiring at the end of June. Carpenter, an El Segundo native, has served as city manager since 2012. At his recent retirement party, Carpenter thanked the city and said he was leaving “ to enjoy the next phase of my life.”
Mitnick was Thousand Oak’s city manager for 11 years, from 2005 to 2016 and the Sutter County administrator from 2017 to 2019. Most recently, he served as a municipal advisor with KNN Public Finance, whose clients include Manhattan Beach. He began working in government 21 years ago as a City of Brea budget analyst intern.
After attending Cal State Fullerton, he received a masters in public administration from the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Mitnick said that during his years with Thousand Oaks, it transitioned from an underdeveloped, middle income city to one that is fully built out and upper income, similar to the transition El Segundo has undergone in recent years.
He noted that during the 2008 recession, Thousand Oaks laid off 115 of its approximately 500 employees and lost a redevelopment agency that funded a significant portion of the city budget. But, he said, the city emerged from the recession stronger than it had been.
El Segundo faces significant challenges, he said, from rising CalPERS (employee retirement) costs and business growth, which he described as “almost too much of a good thing,” because of the impact on housing costs.
(Immediately following the vote to hire the new city manager, the council held ahearing on the 34 unit Waypointe condominium project on Imperial Avenue, which will include eight units for low income residents.)
Mitnick praised El Segundo’s council for “thinking about the long haul when most cities are focused on the day to day.”
He ended his remarks by quoting the Athenian Oath, which concludes:
“We will strive unceasingly to quicken the public’s sense of civic duty. Thus, in all these ways, we will transmit this City not only, not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.” ER