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Community News: Southeast

COMMERCE : City Administrator to Retire at Year-End

October 30, 1994|SIMON ROMERO

Louis Shephard, city administrator since 1987, has announced he will retire at the end of the year.

"I did not want to work as long and hard as I have been," Shephard, 61, said of his decision to retire in December, shortly before his 62nd birthday.

The council is interviewing 34 candidates from throughout California to fill the $131,000-a-year post.

The city administrator takes care of the day-to-day responsibilities for the city, which has undergone profound economic, demographic and political changes in recent years.

"The city administrator has a large amount of power," said Francisco Leal, the Commerce city attorney.

"The administrator usually takes the lead on development issues and is very influential when it comes to hiring and firing personnel," Leal said.

Shephard has been in public service since 1957, when he took an administrative intern position in San Leandro after graduating from UC Berkeley. He received his master's degree in political science there in 1959 while working for the city of Fremont.

Before coming to Commerce, he served as city administrator in Delano, San Pablo and Signal Hill and was director of the Pasadena Redevelopment Agency.

"Lou's been a great force in Commerce since he arrived," said Ruth Aldaco, a former councilwoman.

"He's responsible for bringing a lot of extra tax revenue into the city by courting new businesses like the Citadel and Home Depot."

Shephard said he will become a consultant to cities seeking economic development advice.

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