Inglewood City Manager Retires to become Fulltime Father

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From Beverly Hills and Pasadena to San Leandro and Manhattan Beach,  City Manager Artie Fields has worked for some of the most affluent cities in Los Angeles County. When he decided to take on the same post as city manager in Inglewood, he had a purpose that has driven him for the 12 years he’s been on staff.

“I’ve worked for a number of wealthy cities…, “ said Fields. “ I got a chance to see the quality of life that public servants are responsible for supplying to residents.  I got to see beautiful tree-lined streets and streets that are paved and how responsive the city can be.  While I did that for many years for cities that had a lot of money, I thought there is no reason why cities of color couldn’t have the same benefits,” said Fields.

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“I was very excited to come to Inglewood, which is a predominantly minority community, and do all that I could to make sure that they had an opportunity to enjoy the same quality of life similar to the quality of life provided to wealthy communities.”

Early this month, Fields announced his retirement effective December 29thafter serving more than a decade.  Fields said he is retiring to achieve a greater work-life balance.

“I’m not retiring because I’m tired,” Fields said. “I’m really retiring because I am a single father of a six-year-old. Right now, he’s in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the evening. I rather not have someone else raising my child. I would rather do that myself.  I didn’t wait until I was 55 years old to have a child and have someone else raise him. I want to be a full-time dad.”

Fields is among a growing statistic of men who are exciting corporate careers to offer a greater quality of life for their families by being more present. This new generation of stay-at-home-fathers is trending so high, it is eliminating the “Mr. Mom” stigma.

Councilwoman Dionne Faulk is a mother of two boys. She said she and Fields have bonded over parenting boys and is proud to be called “Auntie D.” by Fields’ son.

  “I think it’s admirable!” praised Faulk. “His son is getting older and requires more attention, and as you know, our Black boys need special attention and special care because our (country) doesn’t treat them like the kings that they are. I find it admirable that he is trying to make sure that his son is raised in the right environment, gets the education he needs, and the emotional support he needs to become a productive individual.”

Fields has achieved much in Inglewood.  He credits the mayor and the strong spirit of teamwork in the city.

“The city manager is kind of like an orchestra conductor,” said Fields, adding that his job is to unify and set the tempo for several departments such as managing the department heads of IT, human resources, and parks and recreation with the support of two assistant city managers. Fields is most proud to be a part of the team that transformed the city into a national icon for sports and entertainment.

“One thing I love about Inglewood is the teamwork,” said Fields. Everything is teamwork, from the reopening of the Forum, the Sofi Stadium, and even the new preschool, everything is teamwork.”

As expected, Fields will be missed by his fellow public servants who had nothing but praise for the exiting city manager.

“Artie is a man with a huge heart with compassion and passion for what he does,” said Councilman Alex Padilla.  “No doubt he has gotten us through some challenging times, but through it all he did it with confidence, bringing everybody to the table and making people feel like they are a huge part of the success.”

Eloy Morales echoed Padilla’s sentiment, calling himself “an Artie Fan.”  “Very few city managers work as long at one post as Artie has; that’s the first thing that you notice,” said Morales. “The second thing you notice is we (the city council members) have some strong personalities, and he’s been able to navigate them all through some very, very crucial times.  Without that skill, he wouldn’t have lasted as long, and we wouldn’t have had such a smooth transition (to accomplish goals).”

When asked what he will do on his first week off.  “I’m going to get heavily involved in my son’s school,” said Fields who said he’s already involved his son’s PTA.

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Mayor James Butts, Jr. issued this statement about Fields

Artie Fields started his civil service career in 1986 as an Intern with the City of Beverly Hills while getting his master’s degree in public administration at USC.  He went on to serve in various positions with the cities of Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Leandro, West Covina, and Salinas.  Concluding my tenure as the Inglewood City Manager would prove to be the pinnacle of my career.  In 2011, he applied and was selected.  At that time, the City was struggling, and insolvency was imminent.  Artie Fields leaves as the second longest serving City Manager and the longest-serving African-American City Manager in the history of Inglewood.  The Mayor, James Butts, City Council members Eloy Morales, George Dotson, Ralph Franklin, Alex Padilla, Dionne Faulk, and Gloria Gray appreciate his leadership of the Classified Service employees as the vision of the Mayor and Council was implemented resulting in the ascension of Inglewood to where it is today.  He will be missed and forever remembered.

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