On March 11, two department heads at the City of Carson were let go, effective immediately.
City Manager Sharon Landers announced via email the departure of Idris Al-Oboudi, Director of Community Services and Dr. Maria Slaughter, Director of Public Works. Assistant City Mangers were put in charge of overseeing those departments.
This was a significant move by the City Manager, as both positions are considered part of the Executive Leadership Team of the City.
The Public Works Department is responsible for the maintenance and improvements of City facilities and infrastructure, such as sidewalk repairs, drains, potholes, street signs, tree trimming and more. The Community Services Department oversees parks, recreation programs, the Community Center and transportation programs like the Carson Circuit buses.
“We appreciate both of these leaders for their efforts and contributions to the City during their tenure and wish them continued success in their future endeavors,” said Landers in the letter.
Dr. Slaughter had been with the Public Works Department for five years, and Al-Oboudi joined the City three years ago after 30 years of service to Manhattan Beach.
The changes come at the beginning of budget season for these and other departments. Budget impacts of COVID 19 are going to be significant. The pandemic has forced hundreds of City employees to be let go or furloughed. Of the 840 total City employees, 595 have been asked not to work.
Employees were asked to file for unemployment benefits, but at the April 21 council meeting it was revealed that 209 part time employees had yet to do so. In response, Councilmember Lula Davis-Holmes requested a letter be sent out asking city employees to submit their signature indicating they are foregoing EDD.
City Manager Landers will now restructure key parts of her leadership team under these difficult circumstances.
At the time of publication, neither of the two senior positions were among 22 jobs listed open on the City of Carson’s website.