Originally posted Aug. 6 at 12:50 p.m. / Updated Aug. 7 at 12:49 p.m.
By Susan Motander
The rumors that had been swirling became a stark reality with a brief press release from the city last Friday. With these simple statements, Monrovia announced the departure of City Manager Oliver Chi: “The City of Huntington Beach posted their August 5th City Council meeting agenda today, which includes a proposed employment agreement to consider appointing Oliver Chi as their next City Manager. The Huntington Beach City Council is scheduled to formally consider the matter next Monday.”
On Tuesday, Chi confirmed the Huntington Beach City Council had formally offered him the position of city manager there and that he had verbally accepted the job offer. “I have not yet signed my contract, but I have accepted the position.”
He described accepting the new job as exciting but also “bitter-sweet” in that he has loved working in Monrovia for the last five years. In the formal press release he wrote, “I have been so blessed to have had the chance to work with Mayor Adams and an outstanding team of thoughtful City Council Members, and the amazing array of spectacularly talented City staff here in Monrovia are truly second to none. Our shared mission has been to serve the people of Monrovia to create a community that offers a premier quality of life, and looking back on it all, I feel such immense pride at what we have been able to do together.”
The Monrovia City Council discussed ways to deal with the departure of Chi in a closed session at Tuesday’s Council Meeting. Chi has indicated that he will work closely with the council for the next two months to ensure a smooth transition.
Mayor Adams said of the exiting City Manager, “Oliver has done an incredible job. We had many issues to face when he came. We had had a series of interim city managers for several years, a virtual revolving door. Oliver worked hard to resolve the problems we had in the past.
“Oliver has the ability to take complex issues and find direct solutions. As much as we hate to lose him, the people of Huntington Beach are truly blessed to have Oliver. When he came here we all knew he was in a climbing mode and he still has a long way to go. He will be sorely missed here.”