SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica’s Director of Community and Cultural Services, Karen Ginsberg, announced on Monday, April 27 that she will be retiring on July 4 after 25 years with the community.
“Karen is a highly respected and valued member of the City’s Executive Team. We will miss her keen intellect, sound judgment, deep knowledge of the community, and commitment to the values that the City Council and community embody,” said Lane Dilg, Interim City Manager.
Ginsberg led one of the city’s largest departments which contained roughly 300 employees since December 2011. She was responsible for providing staff leadership in planning for and implementing a wide-range of community programs and services which included the oversight of the city’s beach and parks, cultural and arts programming, human services and recreation.
She replaced Barbara Stinchfield in 2011 after serving 12 years as Assistant Director for the cultural services department. During her career, she oversaw projects that included the expansion of one park on Virginia Avenue and the development of Euclid and Airport Parks. She was instrumental in developing the regulatory review process for the Annenberg Community Beach House. Residents were also offered greater access to Santa Monica High School during non-school hours after $56 million in recreational improvements were made. The funding behind the school’s improvements was facilitated by Ginsberg.
While working for the city of Santa Monica, Ginsberg received the 2012 award for Outstanding Commission from the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members.
“When I joined the City staff as a transplanted Bostonian, I knew that I had landed in a special community that valued its people and its places,” said Ginsberg. “It’s been my honor to work with the most gifted and dedicated people at City Hall. Together, we led in sustainability, the arts, and providing a safety net for those in need.”