Long Beach Health Officer Rugmini Shah plans to resign from her job in May, according to a memo written by City Manager James Hankla. When Shah leaves, Hankla plans to reorganize the Health Department and hire a medical doctor to direct medical services and a second director to head the health and social services area, according to a Feb. 10 memo Hankla distributed to the City Council.
Shah declined to confirm that she is leaving, saying, "It's really too soon to talk about." Shah said she was not aware that a memo went out to council members. She called any planned move "my personal plans." The health officer since 1978, Shah supervises more than 150 people, including 127 full-time employees, according to Human Resources Director William Storey. She makes $94,000 a year.
Several council members--calling Shah a good manager--said they were surprised to hear of her planned departure. "She is a gracious, competent and professional person," Councilman Wallace Edgerton said. "Whoever gets her will be a lucky person." Mayor Ernie Kell called Shah "very competent" and "a good manager."