By Emilie St. John
INGLEWOOD —City Manager Artie Fields has announced his retirement from the city effective Dec. 29.
“By now, you may have heard that I will be retiring effective Dec. 29,” Fields wrote in an email to city staff Nov. 6. “I have enjoyed working for the city of Inglewood for more than 12 years and I am excited to move into the next chapter of my life that focuses on raising my son to be an outstanding young man.”
Fields started his career in 1986 as an intern with the city of Beverly Hills while getting his master’s degree in public administration at USC. He went on to serve in various positions with the cities of Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Leandro, West Covina and Salinas.
“In 2011, when I informed many of my colleagues that I would be applying for the city manager position in Inglewood, they all attempted to discourage me from applying,” Fields wrote in his retirement message. “However, I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, so I accepted the job in the city of Inglewood and I am so grateful for all that I have learned and accomplished as part of the Inglewood team.
“I can truly say that I have never worked with a more committed and intelligent group of employees over the course of my career. All that has been accomplished during my tenure could not have been possible without the diligent efforts of each and every one of you,” Fields added.
Fields credited Mayor James T. Butts and the members of the City Council for his success.
“Success always starts at the top, and if it were not for the mayor and City Council having the vision and fortitude to make tough decisions, we would still be struggling to overcome the challenges that had plagued this city for generations,” Fields said. “I am the second longest serving city manager in the city’s history and the longest serving African American city manager in the city’s history. These are achievements that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Fields received a new employment contract last December which was extended through Dec. 31, 2024.
The new agreement gave Fields a $50,000 annual raise increasing his salary from $318,049 to $365,759.
The termination clause of the employment agreement was also amended.
If the council wished to terminate Fields, the action would require four votes. If Fields decided to resign prior to Dec. 31, 2024, he will receive a lump sum equivalent to six months’ salary if he leaves with more than 12 months remaining on the contract, and a lump sum equivalent to three months’ salary if he leaves with less than 12 months remaining on the contract.
The City Council was scheduled to conduct interviews Nov. 7 to select a new assistant city manager with five department heads under consideration.
Former City Manager Mark Weinberg is expected to assume the role of interim city manager while the city is expected to conduct a national search to replace Fields.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at email@example.com.