The Bellflower City Council today announced its choice of Jeffrey L. Stewart as Bellflower’s new City Manager. The five members of the Bellflower City Council unanimously approved an offer of employment which Mr. Stewart has accepted. The City Council is expected to formally approve an employment agreement at its next scheduled meeting on Monday, November 28, 2011.
In announcing the appointment, Bellflower Mayor Scott A. Larsen said: “The City is very fortunate to have someone of Jeff’s high caliber join our hard-working Bellflower team. With more than 26 years of public service and an exceptional record as a leader and manager, Jeff will allow us to continue forward on the path already charted by the City Council.”
Larsen added: “Jeff has all of the qualifications we were looking for in a new City Manager. Despite the ongoing economic challenges we are facing today, Bellflower is working on a number of exciting development projects which will help ensure a bright future. My Council colleagues and I feel Jeff’s past success makes him the perfect executive to help us accomplish our goals.”
Stewart was chosen out of 76 applicants for the top position to replace former City Manager Mike Egan, who left Bellflower in August to become the City Manager in Norwalk, CA.
Stewart began his public sector career with the City of West Covina, Calif. in 1985. He then moved on to work at the City of Rosemead, Calif. and remained there in various management positions from 1986-1999. In 1999, he moved from Rosemead to become the Assistant City Manager for the City of El Segundo, Calif. In 2005 he was promoted to City Manager and remained there until the fall of 2008.
During his long tenure at the City of El Segundo, Stewart implemented a top business development and retention philosophy that led the City to being named the first ever “Most Business Friendly City in Los Angles County” by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation in 2007. He also developed a multi-year approach to guide El Segundo’s budgeting and program development.
Stewart moved to Los Alamitos, Calif. as City Manager in early 2009. During that time, he was responsible for instituting budget reform and addressing a $600,000 general fund shortfall without spending reserve funds or instituting layoffs of full-time employees. He was also responsible for revitalizing that City’s dormant cable television and public access programming channels, and procuring new solid waste collection services for both residents and businesses, the first such agreement in Los Alamitos in the past 40 years.
“Knowing Bellflower’s outstanding reputation, solid community values, high quality public services, and strong professional staff, I decided to apply for the job as soon as it became available,” said prospective City Manager Jeff Stewart. “I am very much looking forward to working with the members of the City Council and the people of Bellflower. It’s an honor to be asked to serve, and I welcome the opportunity to build upon the great work already accomplished.”
Stewart will begin his new position with Bellflower on January 3, 2012 with a three-year contract that has options for two additional years. He will receive an annual salary of $190,000 plus benefits. However his salary will be reduced by $19,000 per year to $171,000 as a result of the City’s ongoing 10 percent unpaid furlough program.
A native of Southern California, Stewart is married with two children. He graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both English and History and in 1989 with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
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