CULVER CITY — Lamont Ewell, Santa Monica’s former city manager who retired in January in order to spend more time with his family, has decided to return to work, at least temporarily, accepting a job as Culver City’s interim city manager.
Ewell will make about $20,000 per month to lead Culver City from April through July, said Serena Wright, Culver City’s director of human resources.
In an interview Monday, Ewell said he has “no interest” in applying for the permanent city manager position in Culver City. He was already familiar with Culver City because of his past involvement with the Westside Council of Governments, Ewell said, and saw the temporary post as an opportunity to help out while also “transitioning” from the workaday world to life as a retiree. He said the four-month period also fit nicely between scheduled vacations to the Bahamas and Europe.
“I feel like I might be able to help them and usher through some of the challenges while they look for a new city manager,” he said.
“They’ve got a budget gap that they have to deal with and hopefully given my past experiences I’ll be able to help in some way.”
Culver City’s outgoing city manager, Mark Scott, is leaving the position after about nine months on the job in order to become city manager in Fresno, his hometown, said Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman.
In his new post Ewell will be tasked with drafting a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Culver City, which has a budget of about $83 million, is facing a deficit as high as $6.5 million, Weissman said.
Culver City’s council unanimously appointed Ewell to the position, he said, finalizing terms of the agreement last week.
“We had an opportunity to meet with Lamont, and if you know of him from Santa Monica you would know that he is an exceptionally impressive individual with impeccable city manager credentials,” Weissman said.