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City Hires Third Info Services Director in Internet Era

By Lookout Staff

November 6, 2023 -- After a nationwide search, City Manager David White has appointed the third person to head the City's Information Services Department since the dawn of the internet three decades ago.

Paula Crowell

Paula Crowell -- who most recently directed information services for the Long Beach Utilities Department -- will oversee a team of 50 staff members and a $13 million budget, City officials said.

She has worked for more than 20 years in information technology, serving as IT manager for the City of Temecula and IT director for the Madicare Payment Advisory Commission in Washington, D.C.

“Technology is a cornerstone that allows us to serve the community more efficiently and effectively,” White said in a statement Monday. “Paula is a talented and experienced leader who brings a wealth of hands-on technical knowledge.

"With her at the helm, I'm confident the department will continue to find innovative ways to enhance and streamline city services.”

The Information Services Department is in charge of staff training and support services, the City's website, cybersecurity, software engineering, the Santa Monica mobile app, the city’s open data program and CityNet municipal broadband services.

“I’m eager to use my skills and expertise to drive innovation, digital transformation, and efficient technology solutions to address the city's challenges and enhance the quality of life in Santa Monica,” Crowell said in a statement.

“I look forward to collaborating with the talented city team and partnering with the community to ensure Santa Monica continues to be a model of innovation and sustainability in the digital age.”

Crowell has a bachelor's degree in information systems from the University of Maryland. She will join the city on December 18 with an annual salary of $223,836.

Crowell will replace Joseph Cevetello, who was appointed to head the Inforation Services Department by former City Manager Rick Cole in 2016.

Cevetello, who had served in top IT positions in higher education, replaced Jory Wolf, who had held the position since 1994, the year before the Internet was fully commercialized in the U.S.

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