Letter: Frimond for city manager

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Assistant City Manager Jeremy Frimond, born and raised in Laguna Beach, should be on the shortlist of candidates for our new city manager.

That is, if he wants the job, although I’m certain he can navigate the initial barrage of doubters, that’s bound to occur due to recent turmoil.

His résumé as an employee since 2003 includes his 10-year career as a beach guard, and then he moved up to our marine protection officer (MPO) position in the Marine Safety Department.

He became a leader in the marine protected area collaborations and information sharing between California coastal city staff.

He moved up to his current position as assistant to the city manager in 2018.

He has a bachelor’s in zoology from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s in public administration from CSU Long Beach.

On a personal note, I met him on the beach around 2005, and he, like all the young men and women who serve and protect in the MSD, was always upbeat, personable and vigilant for those in distress. 

I ran into him down in Blue Lagoon right after he was appointed MPO, and he seemed humbled by my praise and support.

His years as our MPO amplified and added to his love of the ocean, so it’s no surprise to read about his avid attraction and knowledge regarding sharks.

Neither is his history with the tourism industry (Discovery). After all, he grew up in a year-round visitor destination. 

His core values, those of a lover of the Pacific and keeping it healthy for future generations, are still intact.

After our former CM went out City Hall doors, I called for someone with great knowledge and experience with ocean and beach issues. 

Someone who had as one of their goals the bettering and improving of our oft-times contentious relationship with the California Coastal Commission.

The other night, when I walked into council chambers for the first time in about 15 years, I walked over to say hello to Captain Kai Bond of our MSD, another native son I hadn’t seen since before the Covid lockdown.

Jeremy’s face lit up. He recognized me, even though I’d grown a scruffy beard. 

So I spoke briefly with him first, before Kai.

Same personable, high-energy Jeremy. That’s another example of added value: He’d be a breath of fresh air, albeit a locally generated breeze, so I encourage our council to look within. The right person for the job might already be in Chambers.

Maybe we don’t need to look any further. The answer’s right under our noses!

Roger Butow, Laguna Beach

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Lord have mercy, I’m already getting flack for this LTE as I’d sent out a sneak preview!
    Not everyone from previous administrations is contaminated, people.
    He might even be upset that I broached the subject, maybe I broke some code of ethics by tossing his name out as a legitimate candidate.
    I never really saw eye-to-eye with 31 year CM Ken Frank, but folks?
    He was about Jeremy’s age when he clocked in, and conflicted man or not, especially hostile about my late 90s activism, my organizated confrontational sieges in Council Chambers, he did provide stability unlike recent days under Shohreh Dupuis.
    And I came to feel that compared to John Pietig, KF was (WOW) the salad days.
    I think if people got to know Jeremy better, if he were allowed to step up and out into the spotlight, those now trolling and criticizing me would have a different opinion.
    He’s beach tribe, he gets the BEACH part of Laguna Beach.
    He’s a waterman, and maybe those uncertain, hesitant, leery and suspicious don’t use the ocean as their church without walls.
    Those of us that love being above or below the surface of the ocean have a different life perspective. We’re mostly egalitarian, equals, brothers and sisters.
    No one asked for my opinion, I won’t get to decide, but well, that’s how I roll.
    We might be going on a CM “snipe or unicorn hunt” when our best fit is sitting there, patiently waiting to fulfill his dream job: CM of the place he’s become an integral, interwoven part of over his 36 years.

  2. Never heard of this person before, which may be a good thing.., yes, someone with the culture of Laguna although that can take a lot different avenues…We desperately need someone who understands the culture here, but also highly educated in running a business and actually managing which we did not have before, we need someone with good human instincts and that won’t play to a agenda, I think outside professionals with a knowledge of this area or grown up around here would be great they must be educated! This is a big dollar value here to manage, personalities to manage, departments to manage..let us please get a real professional,however, I believe the council picks them..wish the residents that pay the tab got a say…just saying

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