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Housing Chief Joins Parade of Departures

May 15, 1997|JODI WILGOREN and HUGO MARTIN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

"The results of the audit and the request for a continued management audit clearly indicate that the department needs to change its management style and perhaps this will facilitate that," Luddy said.

City Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr., who oversees the housing committee, said he wants the department to shift priorities from rental apartments to rehabilitation and development of homes for first-time, low-income owners.

"I see Gary as being an individual who feels very passionate about providing quality, affordable housing for people. The experience that Gary provided to the city was invaluable," Svorinich said. "The time, from his perspective, is ripe for him to go and look for other opportunities."

In a written statement, Riordan called Squier an "energetic, skilled leader who has served our city well," and promised to launch a national search for his successor.

While Squier had a friendly relationship with the mayor, they differed sharply in terms of politics and priorities.

"He's just been between a rock and a hard place in recent times," said one housing activist. "He does not have a supportive administration behind him. Riordan's not a housing mayor. I think that has made the job incredibly difficult."

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