Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia will soon need a new right-hand man.
His longtime chief of staff, Mark Taylor, announced Wednesday, Sept. 4, that he has plans to step down from his post to go into the private sector.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, it was announced that the new right-hand man will be a woman — Diana Tang, currently manager of Government Affairs and Communications in the City Manager's office. Tang will move to the mayor's office on Sept. 30.
Taylor declined to comment on the record about his future plans.
Garcia, for his part, said he was excited about what will come next for Taylor.
“I’m incredibly grateful for his service to the city,” Garcia said. “He’s given so much to Long Beach. I’m just grateful. I’m going to miss him terribly, but I’m also happy for him.”
But, Garcia added, Taylor will continue to be a Long Beach resident.
“He’s not going anywhere,” Garcia said. “But we’ll spend less time talking about the city and more time talking about what’s going on with our friends and families.”
Prior to joining Garcia’s team, when the Mayor was first elected in 2014, Taylor worked for seven years as the director of community and governmental relations for Long Beach City College.
“We’ve been working together to make sure we have a smooth transition,” he said. “I’ve been supporting him as he transitions to his new job, which is very exciting. And we’ll have a good transition over here, as well.”
Tang joined the city in May 2002 as an emergency medical technician in the Long Beach Fire Department in the Marine Safety Division. She moved to the city manager's office in 2009, beginning as a government affairs analyst, then being promoted to the manager position.
“Diana has done a phenomenal job managing our city’s lobbying efforts and our communications office,” Garcia said in the announcement. “She knows Long Beach and is ready on day one to lead our team.”
Tang earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State Long Beach after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has served as a commissioner on the LA County Local Emergency Medical Services Agency and as a Long Beach representative on other committees.
Harry Saltzgaver contributed to this report.