Longtime county spokesman announces plan to step down

County official Tony Bell is retiring after an 18-year career with the county.

Tony Bell, assistant chief deputy and communications director for county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, is retiring from his current position at the end of January, after 18 years of service to Los Angeles County. 

“I am exploring my options and looking at my opportunities,” said Bell. “I look forward to working with everyone in the next chapter of my professional life.” 

In his retirement, Bell hopes to explore different avenues including teaching. With over 30 years of experience and passion, he hopes to teach political communications and public policy. 

Public service was first introduced to Bell by his father, who was a U.S. congressman from the Westside of Los Angeles. Prior to working for Los Angeles County, Bell worked on different political campaigns, and later transitioned into public relations. 

“I began my professional career 30 years ago working on numerous political campaigns before transitioning into public relations as executive director of a nonprofit advocacy group, and as a managing director of a PR firm focusing on crisis communications,” said Bell. 

Once a press deputy position for former 5th District county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich became available, a colleague at the firm suggested that Bell apply. Bell was hired in November 2001, which marked the start of his career in county services. 

At the time, Kathryn Barger was chief of staff for Antonovich, a position she held until her election to the seat in 2016. Barger now represents the 5th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

Bell served as assistant chief deputy for 15 years and will continue in that position until his retirement on Jan. 24. He looks back at his career in the county with fondness because of the people he’s worked alongside and the opportunities he’s had to help the community. 

As a spokesman for Barger, Bell has worked with different media outlets, including The Signal, to be readily available to his constituents while also spreading Barger’s messages. 

“The greatest part of this job is that I really get to be a service to people,” said Bell. “County and government are here to serve, and in this office, I’ve been able to really serve the communities that Barger represents.”

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