West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo is retiring. A WeHo city employee tells WEHO TIMES Arevalo made the announcement via an email to his staff. Council member John Erickson confirmed the report and stated that Arevalo will most likely retire this summer.
Block Party retail store owner Larry Block posted the news of his retirement on a West Hollywood Facebook group earlier today. He says a source told him that his retirement date is slated for June 30, 2021, but that has not been confirmed.
“It’s pretty common knowledge,” Block told WEHO TIMES, “He sent a letter out to his staff and everyone is excited to see who they’re going to pick as a new city manager. I waited a few days until more people knew before I posted it to let everyone know.”
Arevalo has been with the City since 1990. He took the job of City Manager in 1999. Prior to becoming City Manager, he served as its Director of Finance.
“When I came to the City of West Hollywood in 1990, I was hired as Finance Manager,” he said in a recent interview with California City Management Foundation, where he is a board member. “I then moved up the ranks to become Director of Finance and Technology. I was totally content as a department head, in fact, becoming a City Manager never crossed my mind. But, one Monday as I was driving home, I received a phone call from a Councilmember during closed session asking that I come back to the special closed session. They informed me that they had ended the then-City Manager’s contract and they asked me if I would serve in the role on an interim basis. That was in 1999. I’ve now been in the City Manager chair for nearly 22 years. Initially, there was a lot to learn on the job; after more than two decades, I am still learning.”
In that same interview posted on February, 2021, Paul Arevalo remembers the reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard.
“When I took on the City Manager role, the City of West Hollywood’s roadway improvement reconstruction project on Santa Monica Boulevard/Historic Route 66 was underway,” he said “I quickly realized how deep the impact of construction was on our business community along the commercial corridor. I dove right into this new role and, suddenly, I was on the deep end of the pool with no life preserver. It was a two-year-long project and I quickly learned to navigate through the challenges we faced. The result was an incredible streetscape that thrilled the community and won numerous awards. I am very proud of it.”
Other achievements he acknowledged were several ambitious Capital Improvement Projects, including the LEED-certified West Hollywood Library and the improvements in progress at West Hollywood Park. However, he says he’s most proud of his successful work in building resilience and fiscal sustainability in West Hollywood.
“The City of West Hollywood was incorporated in 1984, so it’s a relatively young city, he said. “The City had been founded with progressive ideals by an incredible convergence of LGBTQ activists, seniors, and renters, many of whom would be regarded as outsiders from the mainstream. So, lots of people were betting on the City to fail. Instead, we built a City government with a robust local economy and a sound fiscal infrastructure. It is our long view on economic sustainability that allows us to be a vibrant and an extremely forward-thinking municipality with consistent AAA Bond ratings to leverage future project planning. It is what pulled us through the 2008 recession and what is carrying us forward as the COVID-19 crisis ravages the base of our economic engines.
Over the years Arevalo has been appointed to various commissions and task forces and he is currently active in: the Revenue and Tax Committee of the League of California Cities; the Alliance for Innovation; and the Rose Bowl Operating Company Board where he is assisting in overseeing the implementation of a major stadium renovation.
Paul Arevalo holds an undergraduate degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) and has completed the Berkeley Executive Seminar (BES) for City Managers at the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. He has also done graduate work at the School of Public Administration at California State University, Los Angeles. He is an avid runner and is an enthusiastic member of Team Weho, a group of City employees who participate in the AIDS Marathon program for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).