Meet Seal Beach’s new city manager

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Seal Beach City Manager Jill Ingram

Jill Ingram has only one regret about her appointment as permanent Seal Beach city manager: her dad isn’t here to see it.

An Old Town resident for nearly 30 years, Ingram’s father passed away in December of last year.

Ingram said he was her biggest cheerleader and while she is sorry he can’t be here to see her manage Seal Beach, his memory gives her motivation to move the city forward.

Ingram was appointed to permanently replace former City Manager David Carmany at the Monday, May 9 Seal Beach City Council meeting.

Before that, she had served as acting city manager, following the departure of Interim City Manager Pat Importuna.

Ingram takes on the job at a tough time: the city budget is tight this year and revenues are down. The projected surplus is expected to be less than $200,000.

Looking at the budget

The proposed final budget for 2011-12 will be on the City Council agenda for Monday, June 13. Ingram said if it is approved, the budget would be implemented starting July 1.

“Department heads are going to be held accountable for living within the budget,” Ingram said.

The council will review the budget in January 2012.

Part of that review will be a look at the cost of operating the city jail, which is expected to run at a deficit roughly the equivalent of a full time police officer. Ingram said that the City Council would also look at a cost analysis of what the jail would cost if the city eliminated the pay-to-stay inmates.

As for the tennis center, the city will look at the possibility of making it a public recreation center as opposed to a private membership organization. Ingram said the city is currently subsidizing the club at about $75,000 a year.

She said she believed more than 60 percent of the members were non-residents. However, making the center a public facility would cost the city revenue.

Ingram said recreation programs are not “cost neutral,” which means they cost more than the money they bring in.

Looking ahead

The next item on Ingram’s to-do list is hiring a new chief of police. Seal Beach Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick will retire in June.

Ingram said the proposed DWP development is going to be a huge task. The project will be related to the city’s efforts to develop a state-mandated Housing Element to the General Plan. Ingram also said the city would be looking at the Local Coastal Program.

“After an LCP has been finally approved, the (California Coastal) Commission’s coastal permitting authority over most new development is transferred to the local government, which applies the requirements of the LCP in reviewing proposed new developments,” according to the Commission Web site.

Ingram said just looking at the three items—the DWP property, the Housing Element and the Local Coastal Program—would be significant undertakings.

However, she said she also wanted to work on pension reform, making sure that employees pay their fair share of their retirements.

Looking at community

Ingram said she had literally been overwhelmed by the community support for her appointment. On Monday, May 9, District 1 Councilwoman Ellery Deaton said there had been many e-mails from the public asking the council to make Acting City Manager Ingram the permanent city manager.

Ingram said she hopes to be an active participant in the community she will serve. “I want to be a recognizable face,” she said.

That said, she expects to be extremely busy for at least the first three or four months.

Looking at Ingram

Ingram expects to receive her master’s degree in public administration this month from California State University, Long Beach.

She earned her bachelor of science in business administration at CSU Long Beach in 2000. Ingram graduated cum laude.

Her career began in 1986 when she was an intermediate clerk/stenographer in the special education department of Downey Unified School District. Ingram became the assistant to the superintendent of Downey Unified in November 1992. She was the Cypress city clerk from May 200 to June 2006 and clerk of the Orange County Fire Authority until October 2008.

That same month, Ingram became assistant to the city manager of Seal Beach.

Meet Seal Beach’s new city manager