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La Palma Mayor Peter Kim administers the oath of office to newly appointed City Manager Laurie T. Murray.  Witnessing the occasion is La Palma City Councilman Gerard Goedhart.

La Palma Mayor Peter Kim administers the oath of office to newly appointed City Manager Laurie T. Murray. Witnessing the occasion is La Palma City Councilman Gerard Goedhart.


By Larry Caballero

La Palma City Council at its Nov. 17 Regular Meeting adopted a Resolution appointing Laurie A. Murray as City Manager.

It also approved and authorized the Mayor to execute an Agreement between the City of La Palma and Laurie A. Murray for City Manager Services.

The City’s former City Manager, Ellen Volmert, resigned her position, effective Oct. 21, and the City Council held a Special Meeting on October 28 when it decided to conduct an internal recruitment for the position of City Manager.

On Nov. 11, the City Council held another Special Meeting to conduct interviews of the qualified applicants, and it selected Laurie A. Murray as the City’s next City Manager.

La Palma will be paying a salary of $152,000 per annum for her services, payable in installments at the same time and in the same manner as it pays other employees of the City.

The salary provided in this Agreement can be increased or decreased proportionately with any cost of living and other salary adjustments applied to all executive management employees (department heads) of the City.

The City is also paying her for a life insurance policy in a coverage amount of $250,000.

Acknowledging that City Manager’s duties require that she have the use of an automobile at all times during her employment with the City, and in lieu of providing a vehicle or paying mileage, the City will reimburse the Murray $325 per month “for the expenses of owning, maintaining, and insuring a personal automobile. The amount of the reimbursement shall be evaluated each fiscal year and, if appropriate, adjusted to reflect increased costs.”

At the same meeting, it was recommended that the City Council authorize staff to recruit for an Administrative Services Director to fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Murray to City Manager.

The City Council established a policy, requiring vacant positions authorized in the budget, to return to City Council for approval to retain the position in the budget and recruit to fill the vacancy.

Under general direction, the Administrative Services Director plans, organizes, directs and oversees the City’s administrative services, including financial management, budgeting, accounting, purchasing, human resources, information technology services, and risk management; directs and participates in the development, communication, and implementation of administrative policies and practices; executes policies and programs to meet the City’s objectives; and participates as a member of the Executive Management Team.

Mrs. Murray has worked for La Palma since 2006, serving as the City’s first Administrative Services Manager. She was promoted to the Administrative Services Director position in 2014. Among her many accomplishments while working for La Palma, Mrs. Murray has been able to:

  • Oversee the reorganization and consolidation of the City’s former Finance and Administrative Departments.
  • Managed the conversion of the City’s Financial and Human Resources operations into the Tyler Incode Financial Software System.
  • Managed extensive technology upgrades: including a fiber optic network between city buildings; upgrade of infrastructure; and implementation of public Wi-Fi at City facilities.
  • Negotiated an Animal Care Services agreement with SEAACA, providing a higher level of service at a lower cost to residents and the City.
  • Conducted successful labor negotiations in 2008, 2011, and 2014.
  • Launched a curbside recycling program at no additional cost to residents.

Prior to coming to La Palma, Mrs. Murray had previously worked for the Cities of Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Business Management from Vanguard University of Southern California in May 2007, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Mayor Peter Kim, said, “Laurie is a fine Administrator that has helped the City through the last several difficult years with her dedication to fiscal responsibility and transparency.”

In accepting the Councils appointment, new City Manager Laurie Murray said, “she was both honored and humbled to receive the appointment and understands the tremendous responsibilities that come with it. She looks forward to working with the City Council, residents, and employees to work through the challenges and opportunities facing the City.”

  • Houston Xmas Lights says:

    Pray that the new city manager, bring some new life to the parks. Parks makes the city become alive and brings residents outdoors.

    $152K yr, she will not stay long, why donate services for free, when most surrounding CM make $225K-$350K annually, plus free car; plus medical insurance for life.

    Hawaiian Garden city council earn $400 Mth car allowance, why is LP so cheap.

    What is the longest employment duration for LP MC, poss. 2-3 yrs.