Redondo Beach City Treasurer Ernie O'Dell will step down Monday after 18 years of service to Redondo Beach, O'Dell announced in a letter to the city that was also sent to several news organizations.
Dated Dec. 4, the one-page letter called O'Dell's decision to retire early "painful" and "especially difficult."
"I guarantee you, this has been the hardest decision of my life, but one I feel will best accomplish this transition with the least amount of turmoil and disruption to the City, and City Treasurer's office," he wrote.
O'Dell did not provide a reason for his retirement, only vaguely referring to "a number of issues that have come up recently." Nevertheless, he said he was retiring now to avoid the extra expense of a special election.
Because O'Dell has served fewer than 2 years of his current 4-year term, his replacement must be elected. The city council will appoint an acting city treasurer in the meantime.
O'Dell recommended that Deputy Treasurer Frank Rowlen, who also plans to retire early in 2013, be appointed acting city treasurer.
"He is the most capable and knowledgeable person who comes from 40 plus years of experience in municipal finance, and who has served as the current Deputy Treasurer for the past 17 years here at Redondo Beach," O'Dell wrote. "His understanding of the city's finances and our investment practices is unmatchable."
O'Dell also recommended that a recruitment process for the new deputy city treasurer begin immediately.
The decision came too late to put the treasurer's position on the March 5 ballot; however, City Clerk Eleanor Manzano said that she would recommend the council put it on the May 14 ballot, usually reserved for runoff ballots for municipal races where no candidate earned a majority of the votes.
If the election is called for May 14, the filing period for candidates for city treasurer would begin Jan. 22, she said.
Manzano told Patch that the council will discuss the matter at Tuesday's regular meeting.