Claremont Manor executive director out, search for replacement begins

By Mel Opotowsky | Special to the Courier

Claremont Manor Retirement Community Executive Director Greg Hirst has been replaced with Randy Herzig, an executive vice president at The Front Porch, which manages Claremont Manor. Herzig, 52, will serve temporarily until a permanent director is found.

At a well-attended March 20 meeting of residents and staff last at Claremont Manor, Herzig said that under privacy laws he could not discuss any of the circumstances of the change.

Hirst had been director of Claremont Manor for more than seven years. Kay Murphy, head of the Claremont Manor Residents Association, said. “I know [Hirst] was very highly respected. We have no way of knowing what the reasons for the dismissal were. It might have been a mutual decision.”

She noted that in an answer to a question at the March 20 meeting, it was said there was a deficit of $2 million on the Claremont Manor budget.

In a separate interview, Herzig said Claremont Manor was one of the two lowest performing financially among Front Porch’s retirement organizations. He also said recruitment of staff and new residents had become problematic.

Jim Jackson, a resident of the retirement community and former longtime Claremont city official, said he was told more than a year ago by an officer at Claremont Manor he was reluctant to name that Hirst had been told he had to improve the facility’s financial performance. He said the major issue mentioned at the time was the lack of potential new residents.

Murphy was upbeat about the future of Claremont Manor. “It’s a good organization,” she said. “It’ll be fine.”

Mel Opotowsky, 91, was a journalist for more than 60 years. He retired as managing editor of the Press-Enterprise, Riverside, in 1999. He lives at Claremont Manor with his wife, Bonnie. They have four children, 11 grandchildren, and “nine or 10” great-grandchildren.


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