By Gary Walker
The county Department of Beaches and Harbors is undergoing a reshuffling in the midst of former Director Santos Kreimann’s recent departure for the county chief executive office.
Beaches and Harbors Deputy Director Gary Jones was named acting director of the department by the Board of Supervisors Aug. 19.
Jones saw his responsibilities increase last year after Kreimann was appointed by the supervisors to chief deputy assessor in the wake of a scandal surrounding County Assessor John Noguez. Prior to his latest appointment, Jones was in charge of all real estate and Marina del Rey planning matters, including the so-called visioning process.
Jones was also the liaison between his department and the supervisors.
“Santos left the department in a lot stronger position and part of that was due to the team that he put in place,” Jones said shortly after his appointment became official. “I want to make sure that we continue without interruption on the delivery of services and programming here in the Marina.”
Beaches and Harbors Chief Deputy Kerry Silverstrom said one of the qualities that will make Jones a good leader is his integrity.
“I’m really delighted that Gary is getting this opportunity,” Silverstrom said. “He’s proven himself and I know that the department will continue to have success under his leadership.”
Jones, who joined Beaches and Harbors in 2009, said he would focus on technology upgrades, continued outreach to the public and on the momentum that projects like the Shores complex, which welcomed its first residents Aug. 12, have created in the Marina.
His primary focus will be the visioning process for the future of Marina del Rey, which he was in charge of prior to becoming interim director.
“There has been a strong interest in what we’re planning for Marina del Rey and what the public would like to see it look like over the next several decades,” he said.
Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe said the work that Jones, Silverstrom and their staff had done during the time Kreimann was at the assessor’s office and functioning as Beaches and Harbors’ director convinced him that Jones deserved a chance to temporarily run the department.
“I appreciate the hard work and commitment of Gary Jones and the entire Beaches and Harbors team in stepping up when Santos Kreimann was asked to move to the assessor’s office,” said Knabe, who represents Marina del Rey. “Now that Santos has been promoted to work with the county’s CEO, it is a natural choice for Gary to step in as acting director.
“I am confident Gary will continue to do a terrific job as he leads our staff in this important area for my district and all of Los Angeles County.”
Jones said he plans to direct a great deal of attention to beach-related activities as well as the infrastructure that goes with them, such as parking lot enhancements, improving maintenance on restroom facilities and looking for different sources to fund additional water and beach related activities.
“I’m pleased with a lot of the progress that we’ve made, but I don’t want to rest on our laurels,” he said.
Jones will earn $154,531 as the acting leader of the department.
Marina del Rey: Supervisors appoint Gary Jones as Beaches and Harbors acting director
By Gary Walker