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Bell leader needs patience, common sense, departing official says

Bell interim administrator Pedro Carrillo's stint was extended when no applicants materialized to take over as his permanent replacement.

Running the embattled city of Bell may not exactly be a dream job. Just ask outgoing interim city administrator Pedro Carrillo, who described it as a challenging -- and occasionally overwhelming -- "roller-coaster ride."

Pedro Carrillo's resignation letter. Click to read.So as the city begins its search for both an interim and permanent city administrator, Carrillo laid out his opinion for what qualities his successor should offer.

In his resignation letter to Mayor Ali Saleh, Carrillo said the city's next administrator should be patient, professional, tolerant and bilingual. He should also "have enough common sense to bring practical solutions to complex problems," Carrillo wrote.

"Of course, the ideal candidate ultimately will have to satisfy the Council's thorough vetting and be able to demonstrate the passion for public service that you and Bell's residents deserve," Carrillo wrote.

Initial attempts to hire a replacement for Carrillo came up empty. The city was forced to extend the deadline when no applicants materialized. Since then Bell has been working with professional government management groups to find candidates and now has received more than 30 applications.

Carrillo ran Bell during its most tumultuous days, as the city lurched from crisis to crisis and investigation to investigation after the 17-year reign of Robert Rizzo, who faces corruption charges. For several months there were not enough council members at meetings to conduct business, leaving many decisions to Carrillo.

Carrillo had been viewed with suspicion by many in Bell since he was appointed interim chief administrative officer by a discredited council, four of whose members also face criminal charges.

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-- Jeff Gottlieb and Kimi Yoshino

Photo: Bell interim administrator Pedro Carrillo's stint was extended when no applicants materialized to take over as his permanent replacement. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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