Howard L. Chambers will be retiring from his post as Lakewood’s city manager at the end of July.
Chambers was appointed Lakewood’s chief executive in June 1976. With 41 years of service in the top staff position in Lakewood, Chambers is the longest serving city manager with a single city in California. He is 72 years old.
“I grew up in Lakewood, I’ve had a great career here, and I continue to love this community,” said Chambers. “But I’m ready at this point in my life to relax and uncouple a bit from the stresses and strains of work life. I had a two-week vacation recently that really drove home that point for me.”
“I’ve been blessed,” said Chambers, “with how well Lakewood’s city councils have governed our community with stability for many years. They act in the best interests of the community and stay focused on what’s most important locally. I’m confident that my successor will be equally blessed. I’ll do everything in my power to assist in the recruitment and mentoring of a new city manager. My goal is a seamless transition. We start from a foundation of being a well-run city in good financial shape, and I don't anticipate a problem.”
“Howard’s impact on Lakewood over four decades has been enormous,” said Mayor Diane DuBois.
“He’s one of Lakewood’s original ‘kids’ who grew up here at the time of our city’s founding in the 1950’s,” said DuBois. “It’s been comforting to lots of residents, including me, to have his experienced hand here all these years as a bridge from our city’s past to our present, helping our city continue to be a great place to call home.
“But after 41 years at the top, and a total of 50 years of full-time work, he definitely deserves some relaxing retirement years,” said DuBois.
“Fortunately, one of Howard’s best attributes has been putting together a strong team of city staff, including top managers and supervisors. So even though Howard will be leaving us, he’s leaving behind a team he trained and inspired with a strong ethic of fiscal responsibility and customer service. Those and other positive traits will remain and benefit Lakewood residents for many years to come.”
The city council is interviewing candidates in a few days to select a successor to Chambers.
The city is organizing a dinner on July 31 where the public can bid farewell to Chambers. Those interested in purchasing a ticket can contact city staff member Barbara Di Iorio at 562-866-9771, extension 2401, or RSVP@lakewoodcity.org or use the online order form at www.lakewoodcity.org/howardretirement.