Newport services manager Harmon retires

Mark Harmon, Newport Beach's director of municipal operations and general services, retired last week.

Charged with the oversight of services ranging from beach cleanup to street sweeping, Harmon managed more than 100 employees to keep the trees trimmed and storm drains clear. He was with the city for more than eight years.

City Council members praised Harmon at their meeting Nov. 26 for his effective and efficient leadership during a time of significant budget cuts.

"In my opinion, nobody has been a better manager — a better manager of the budget, of his personnel and his assets," Mayor Keith Curry said at the meeting.

Councilman Ed Selich said that if someone called to report a twisted ankle caused by a crack in the street, it would be fixed within hours.

"The responsiveness and the quality of service that you've given has been tremendous," Selich said to Harmon. "You're going to have some big shoes for someone else to fill."

Harmon maintained a high level of responsiveness even as various services were outsourced, councilman Mike Henn noted.

Mike Pisani, deputy municipal operations director, will oversee the transfer of trash services to private pickup in the coming months.

"We wish Mark the best in retirement," City Manager Dave Kiff said.

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