Pico Rivera’s newest second assistant city manager, Jeffrey Prang, is also a West Hollyhood city councilman. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having a hard time understanding how Prang ended up in Pico Rivera. It just seems like such a random gig in a random city.
Pico Rivera hires a second assistant city manager
Prang expected to help ease staff jam, assist on projects
By Airan Scruby, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/08/2008 07:38:04 PM PST
PICO RIVERA – The city has hired a second assistant city manager to ease staff workloads and to provide new expertise during new development projects, City Manager Chuck Fuentes said.
According to Fuentes, Jeff Prang, mayor pro tem for West Hollywood and special public affairs assistant to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, brings new skills to the city’s management staff.
“We’re looking forward to getting lots of good service out of him,” Fuentes said.
Prang, 45, will be paid an annual salary of $136,716 for his services to the city, the entry-level salary for an assistant city manager. While Fuentes and Assistant City Manager Debbie Lopez say they believe Prang will be worth the extra cost to the city and that his services are necessary, some say the city does not need a second assistant city manager.
“I don’t see a need for a second city manager,” Councilman David Armenta said. “When you have a lot of construction, when we’re building, you have a need. But the developments are pretty much coming to an end.”
Armenta said he would rather see the city hire a construction manager, who could be paid a more reasonable salary and would be a short-term hire, for any major development project that might occur.
Fuentes dismissed concerns that the hiring was unnecessary, and said he was confident that Prang would benefit the city, especially in efforts to develop the sports arena site and Bicentennial Park areas.
“I’m at the helm,” Fuentes said. “I’m not really concerned about so-called public reaction or reaction from other agencies or whatever.”
Fuentes said 30 applicants expressed in- terest in the position and he interviewed eight, but chose to go with Prang because of his experience and the rapport he already had with Fuentes and others in the city.
“I’ve known Jeff for 20 years in different capacities,” Fuentes said. “I have a huge regard for him. It came down to being a pretty easy decision in the end.”
Prang, first elected to the West Hollywood City Council in 1997, serves on the California Council on Criminal Justice and the California Council on Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.
Prang also serves as a member of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the American Russian Medical Association Advisory Board, Los Angeles County Assessor’s Community Advisory Committee and the West Hollywood Community Redevelopment Commission.
He said he plans to resign from most of his positions on boards and commissions now that he has been hired in Pico Rivera.
“My primary responsibility will be to my career, to my position,” Prang said. “I consider it a tremendous honor and privilege to serve the people of Pico Rivera.”
Prang graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University and completed the Program for Senior Executives in Local and State Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He said he considers himself “a professional public servant.”
Lopez said she is looking forward to working with Prang when he starts work on Monday, and hoped he could fill any gaps in the skills already represented at City Hall.
“Jeff’s going to be able to help us really take a bite out of those new projects,” Lopez said. “It complements both Chuck and myself.”
Prang said he is ready to follow the city manager’s lead in a city with a strong sense of community.
“My philosophy is that the City Council and the city manager, they steer and the staff rows,” Prang said. “I’m proud to get in the boat as one of the rowers.”
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