Council to Consider City Manager’s Pick for Finance Director

In its last regularly scheduled Friday morning meeting of the calendar year, the San Marino City Council will be asked to ratify a top administrator’s choice for full-time finance director after relying on an interim director all year.
According to a staff report on the meeting’s agenda, Paul Chung emerged as City Manager Marcella Marlowe’s preferred candidate from an applicant pool of 32. Chung, the principal treasury analyst for Santa Monica, is expected to take over the San Marino job effective Nov. 25, assuming the council concurs with Marlowe.
The city’s former finance director, Josh Betta, departed San Marino on Dec. 31 after reaching a settlement on unspecified “differences” with municipal staff. The $99,000 settlement, which was paid through San Marino’s joint insurance authority and not from city coffers, was not the result of any civil suit or complaint but was “in compromise of a disputed claim,” according to its language.
The city has since January employed Irwin Bornstein as the part-time interim finance director.
The city quickly embarked this year on hiring a replacement, with staff reaching out for candidates and interviewing several but ultimately unable to settle on a hire. After that, the council approved the use of the executive recruitment firm Peckham & McKenney to conduct the search.
From 32 applicants, 11 were selected for further screening, according to the agenda report, and six finalists were established. Chung emerged from among those six.
Chung’s credentials include 15 years of municipal finance with experience in budget preparation, treasury analysis, revenue forecasting, cost allocation, fee studies and plans, weekly cash flow preparation, investment management, debt management, grant and contract administration, and payroll, according to the agenda report.
For San Marino, the city manager generally has the freedom to employ a cabinet of his or her choosing, but the City Council formally committed to a long-standing practice of rubber-stamping those hires in 2017, shortly after Marlowe was hired.
Additionally, the council also plans to adopt the 2019 changes to the state’s and county’s building standards codes and consider an ordinance making amendments to the city’s code on schools in residential zones.
The council meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in the Barth Community Room at Crowell Public Library. The entire agenda report can be viewed at cityofsanmarino.org.

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