During its special council meeting held on Thursday, July 29, the Compton City Council appointed with 3 to 1 majority vote - with newly elected Mayor Emma Sharif voting against - city's Fire Chief Ronerick DeKeith Simpson as interim city manager.
In regards to her vote of objection to the appointment, Mayor Sharif stated her concerns regarding the limited expertise the Chief brings in the areas of municipal finance, infrastructure planning, and economic development.
The city of Compton had several city managers during former Mayor Aja Brown's two terms in office; namely Johnny Ford, Harold Duffey, Jerry Groomes, Bryan Batiste, Cecil Rhambo, and Craig Cornwell who has been serving since July 2019.
The now former city manager Craig J. Cornwell's time in the office has been marked with problems such as delayed street repairs, infrastructure issues, and lawsuits naming him related to illegal marijuana dispensaries, to name a few.
When the city council eventually decided not to extend Mr. Cornwell's contract, the city came to a standstill in violation of the city’s charter. Several mission critical city businesses could not be performed until a new city manager was seated, such as signing and executing agreements, paying vendors and insurance premiums, etc.
Following his appointment as interim city manager, Chief Simpson stated that he is honored to be called to duty as the interim city manager and assured the city leadership that he will do everything necessary to run the city efficiently. Chief Simpson added that after his assignment is completed, he does not intend to apply for permanent city manager position.
Compton Chamber of Commerce congratulates Chief Ronerick Dekeith Simpson on his new position. We wish Chief Simpson all the success in this challenging position!