Seal Beach treasurer vacates the position

Former Seal Beach Treasurer Robbeyn Sue Bird

Seal Beach City Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services Robbeyn Bird has resigned and will retire, according to City Manager Jill Ingram.

According to Ingram, Bird resigned Friday, Aug. 5.

Bird’s retirement came without the advance public announcements that preceded the retirements of Police Chief Jeff Kirkpatrick earlier this year and Director of Development Services Lee Whittenberg in 2009.

However, the Seal Beach Web site now lists the position of director of administrative services as “vacant.”

The Sun sent Bird a message to her Facebook account. Bird has not replied. It is not known if Bird has checked her account since the message was sent.

In a telephone interview last week, District 1 Councilwoman Ellery Deaton said the head of Seal Beach’s financial services had retired.

District 4 Councilman Gary Miller said Bird had resigned. He said he didn’t know if she’d retired.

District 3 Councilman Gordon Shanks said the city manager hired personnel. He also said Ingram was actively looking for Bird’s successor.

District 2 Councilman David Sloan promised the Sun he would discuss the matter with City Manager Ingram Friday, Sept. 2.

Ingram and Sloan called back later that day to confirm Bird’s departure.

Ingram told the Sun that she had not as yet appointed an interim finance officer. Ingram said the new officer would serve until a new permanent director has been recruited.

Because Bird has worked for the Southern California Metropolitan Water District and the city of La Palma, she is entitled to multiple CalPERS pensions.

Ingram said her Seal Beach pension is 2 percent at 50.

In August, the city responded to a recent Orange County Grand Jury report by posting a chart that displayed the compensation packages for city officials earning $100,000 or more.

According to the chart, the director of Administrative Services was paid $171,106.41 annual salary, plus $11,088.72 in other pay, $11,460 in insurance premiums and $27,912.59 in pension costs.

Ingram did not know what compensation Bird was entitled to from her other pensions.

Bird was hired in October 2007 by then-City Manager David Carmany. Carmany officially started working for Seal Beach on Nov. 13.

Bird replaced previous City Treasurer/Administrative Services Director Keith Evanoff after he was fired.

At the time, Interim City Manager Greg Beuabein suspected Evanoff of embezzling from Seal Beach.

Evanoff was convicted of embezzling more than $150,000 from the city of on Aug. 1, 2008. According to a memo by his prosecutor, Senior Deputy District Attorney Douglas D. Brannan, Evanoff paid $265,000 in restitution to Seal Beach.

As for Robbeyn Bird, Carmany—now city manager of Manhattan Beach—said: “Robbeyn Bird is a CPA with a demonstrated commitment to professional ethics and the internal controls that are required under generally accepted accounting principals.

“During my administration (in Seal Beach) Bird always delivered honestly balanced budgets, award-winning audits and full compliance with state and federal law.”

Audits are required annually for city governments. Ingram said the regularly scheduled audit for Seal Beach will begin in a month.

During a Monday, April 4 budget workshop, Bird told the City Council that late last year, staff found a $2.6 million deficit that staff addressed with budget cuts.

At the April 4 meeting, Bird told the council that revenues were down and expenses were up. At the time, staff projected a budget surplus of $210,000.