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Long Beach police commissioner appointed interim city manager

Michael Tangney, longtime member of the police force, was appointed for an indefinite term while the city council conducts a national search for a new manager.

Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney, seen in

Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney, seen in February, will be acting city manager until the Long Beach City Council chooses a permanent city manager. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

Long Beach City Council members have appointed Police Commissioner Michael Tangney to serve as acting city manager.

City officials said Tuesday they are conducting a nationwide search to replace outgoing City Manager Jack Schnirman, who will be sworn in as Nassau County comptroller Jan. 1. In the meantime, Tangney will serve in the job indefinitely until a permanent city manager is chosen by a majority of the five Democratic council members.

Council members had said they hoped to find a permanent replacement by the end of the year, but the job was not posted until Dec. 1.

A motion by Councilwoman Anissa Moore failed to limit Tangney’s acting term to four months. Other council members said they hadn’t expected the process to take longer than that, but they didn’t want to be restricted and left without a city manager.

The vote for an interim appointment of Tangney was unanimous. He will continue to be police commissioner, but will not receive additional salary while serving as city manager. As commissioner, Tangney was paid $228,496 last year and did not receive overtime.

Tangney said he would split his time between the two departments daily and will not seek a permanent role as city manager. The city’s first priority, he said, will be to appoint a comptroller to prepare a budget for the incoming city manager.

“I’m just minding the store. We have a budget to set and a city manager and comptroller to find,” Tangney said Tuesday. “I don’t intend to fail.”

Tangney said he will have input in hiring the next city manager, including narrowing down a field of candidates for the city council to interview. Council members said they have been meeting with Councilman-elect John Bendo to review applications.

Tangney has served as police commissioner since 2012, when he retired as a police lieutenant. He is a 40-year veteran of the city’s police department. He received his retirement payout as lieutenant spread over three years while serving as commissioner. He has served as acting city manager at times when Schnirman has been away.

City officials credited Tangney with reducing crime in the past six years and cited his budgetary management, including securing grants for ShotSpotter gunshot recognition sensors, surveillance cameras and training the police force to use Narcan to treat opioid overdose patients.

“Michael Tangney has served our City with great distinction for many decades and was instrumental in protecting our residents in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy,” City Council Vice President Anthony Eramo said in a statement. “I am extremely confident in his ability to lead while we continue our thorough and thoughtful search and selection process to hire a permanent, full-time City Manager.”

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