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Long Beach names new acting city manager - the third in two years

Long Beach City Hall on Sept. 3.

Long Beach City Hall on Sept. 3. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Long Beach City Council members appointed Public Works Director John Mirando as the new acting city manager — the third one named in less than two years.

The council voted 4-0 to appoint Mirando at a special meeting Tuesday night, a week before Rob Agostisi was set to serve out his term as acting city manager. Agostisi, who planned to leave on Oct. 1, resigned at 4:59 p.m. Tuesday. Councilwoman Chumi Diamond was absent from the meeting.

“Several weeks ago, I tendered my resignation and provided a notice period that was designed to facilitate a smooth transition. In light of tonight’s special meeting, it is clear that certain council members do not want or require one,” Agostisi said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

The city has been unable to name a permanent city manager since Jack Schnirman left the city to serve as Nassau County comptroller in January 2018. He was succeeded by Police Commissioner Michael Tangney, who served as acting city manager for more than a year until Agostisi was appointed in February.

Agostisi announced Sept. 10 that he planned to leave Long Beach to serve as chief legal officer for the Hauppauge-based LGBT Network.

“The city faces serious, but surmountable challenges, the outcomes of which will hinge on the leadership’s willingness to elevate policy concerns over political considerations,” Agostisi said. “Appointing John Mirando, an independent voice and a man of impeccable integrity, is an important step. He has my full support.”

Mirando has served as public works director for three years and overseen city infrastructure projects, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shoreline protection project. He previously worked in public works for Sea Cliff, Garden City and Freeport. He plans to remain in charge of public works in Long Beach, and his salary will increase from $162,131 to $173,871, officials said.

He said Tuesday night that he has been working with Agostisi on a transition and requested the city council consider him for a permanent city manager. He said he is selling his home in Oceanside to move to Long Beach.

“I’ve watched Long Beach go through some tough times, I’ve watched it go through a renaissance, and I’ve seen the ongoing recovery from Sandy, and now firsthand facing financial issues,” Mirando said. “We certainly have a challenging road ahead, but working together with the council, residents and dedicated city workforce, I believe we can overcome the issues we are facing and secure a bright future for our city.”

Long Beach City Council Vice President John Bendo called for the special meeting Tuesday to replace Agostisi after the city manager’s office  outsourced the city’s response — which was delivered Monday — to a draft state comptroller to outside counsel. The comptroller’s initial findings showed the city did not follow code and overpaid at least 10 current and former employees more than $500,000 in accrued vacation and sick time.

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