Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all department heads to reapply for their jobs on Monday and told reporters he expects some managers will be asked to resign.
Sticking to a campaign promise, Garcetti said the city's 37 department heads -- most of whom make more than $200,000 a year -- will be evaluated by his office. All must submit a memo outlining their goals by Friday.
He told reporters it's "unlikely that 100 percent of folks will return" but also added he isn't "prejudging anyone." Garcetti then met for nearly an hour with department heads in his City Hall office, an event that was closed to the press.
One of the mayor's most powerful roles is the ability to hire department managers, who are responsible for overseeing services such as the city's animal-shelter system, park maintenance and street sweeping.
In a recent interview, Garcetti said both the Department of Water and Power and the Los Angeles Fire Department need particular attention, but he didn't fully detail those concerns.
Monday's closed-door meeting with the department heads was largely upbeat, said Olga Garay-English, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs, who attended the gathering.
The general managers introduced themselves and listed off their years of service with L.A. One department head -- the "winner," she said -- had been with the city 45 years.
Overall, the message from Garcetti was that the general managers should have both "vision and accountability," she said.
There is clearly a strong financial interest in staying. All the city's department heads make six-figure salaries. As head of Los Angeles World Airports, Gina Marie Lindsey is the highest-paid manager, earning an annual salary of $355,000, according to information provided by the City Administrator's Office.
Both the head of police and the harbor make more than $300,000 annually, and 23 of the 37 department heads bring in more than $200,000 a year.
Given a recent series of negative Los Angeles Times articles on LAFD response times, there is speculation among some City Hall staffers that Garcetti will replace Chief Brian Cummings, who makes $282,736 a year.
Walking out of meeting Monday, Cummings was asked if he was concerned about his job. "I'm not worried at all," he replied. "We provide exceptional public safety every time."
Garcetti told reporters he expects to complete his evaluations in the next three months. Among other things, he is asking department heads to outline their plans for job creation in their memo.
Garay-English, who makes $205,647 a year, according to city documents, left the meeting unsure of what to include when reapplying. "There was very little directive," she said. "So it's a little nerve-racking."
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