LONG BEACH — After spending nearly 20 years managing Long Beach’s marinas and waterfront, Mark Sandoval was honored for his service at a gala dinner held Nov. 16 at the Seal Beach Yacht Club.
During his tenure as the Marine Bureau manager, Sandoval handled the day-to-day operations of Long Beach’s marinas – Alamitos Bay Marina, Rainbow Harbor and Shoreline Marina – as a liaison between city’s policymakers and waterfront interests.
A 26-year veteran with the city, Sandoval faced some controversy as he retired from his post in September 2013. Among the questions he faced included the price tag for the Alamitos Bay rebuild and how parking was handled at a major public event.
Independent of the issues raised just prior to his retirement, Sandoval also had to manage topics such as mercury contamination in the marina’s waters, cleaning up floating debris, slip fees and occupancy.
It took a full year to officially name Sandoval’s successor —Elvira Hallinan — to marina manager in September 2014.
Two months later, Sandoval was showered with compliments and praise of his service to Long Beach’s waterfront.
According to Carl Kirnbauer, former president of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association, the Nov. 16 dinner featured several dignitaries remembering the work Sandoval did for the city.
Among the dignitaries in attendance included Hallinan, Scuba Duba CEO Randy Crawford and the commodores of several local yacht clubs.
Though not quite a roast, Sandoval, a graduate of Long Beach State, was presented with plaques, cakes and the honorary title of “Mr. Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” (Mr. ABCD).
For Sandoval, the dinner event held in his honor capped off an interesting career as Long Beach’s manager of the Marine Bureau and board member of the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains.
Sandoval said the dinner was actually in the works for a while it was just a matter of time before a date was picked.
“The way the city dealt with me, it did eliminate the opportunity to send me off the way I would have liked to, but to pull something together and give me a proper thank you was great,” Sandoval said, adding he was happy with his successor.
“They appointed my assistant, which was a good move. The plan which we laid out is continuing,” Sandoval said of Hallinan’s appointment.
Beyond the Alamitos Bay Marina rebuild, Sandoval also oversaw all marina operations, including maintenance, finances and a Farmer’s Market.
According to the Long Beach Business Journal, at the time Sandoval retired his position’s annual salary was nearly $125,000.
Though he still maintains a home in the Long Beach area, Sandoval is now on California’s Central Coast as a general manager at The California Parks Company.
“I’m actually in the private sector. It’s more along the line of my passion. I love the area up here,” Sandoval said, adding he switched gears from public management of a saltwater venue to private management of a business affiliated with freshwater lakes.
In his new position, Sandoval now manages the recreational properties of two Central California Lakes – Nacimiento and San Antonio. At those two lakes, Sandoval helps manage the properties amenities such as food and beverage venues, lodging, marinas and retail.