John R. Mansell

Long Beach City Auditor 1951 – 1961

John R Mansell

I have no quarrel with a dollar being spent, but it should be well spent.” John R. Mansell in the Independent, March 4, 1961


John R. Mansell served as Long Beach City Auditor for 10 years. He was appointed by the City Council to fill the unexpired term of City Auditor Myrtelle L. Gunsul who had resigned. Prior to that appointment, Mansell had risen through the ranks at City Hall in accounting positions. In his early years as clerk in the Public Service Department, he was credited with setting up a new accounting system.


Mansell was born in Chicago on February 12, 1920. While attending business college, he held jobs as a cost accountant in Indiana, Illinois, and California. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and during World War II he participated in the Okinawa and Iwo Jima invasions, the Leyte campaign, and the Japanese occupation. In 1946, after his discharge from military service, he decided to permanently settle in Long Beach. Mansell and his wife Madeline had a son, John Jr., who was born in 1958.


Public comments about Mansell as City Auditor were very favorable. Columnist L.A. Collins described City Auditor Mansell as “an honorable, courageous and capable public official.” A Press-Telegram editorial praised Mansell, “…no other man knows the city’s business quite as well as Mansell does. He is the man who audits the books. While most department heads are concerned largely with their own particular departments, it is Mansell’s business to know what all departments are doing.”


In 1961 Mansell was appointed by the City Council to succeed City Manager Sam E. Vickers, a position he held for 15 years. When Mansell died in 2004, a Long Beach Press-Telegram article said that he was an excellent negotiator, talented orator, and mathematical whiz.


In John R. Mansell’s own words…


Recognition of natural assets of Long Beach:

“Our future must rest on our God-given assets of the seafront and the man-made programs of bringing new industries, new hotels, new capital, new blood into our community.” Independent, March 4, 1961


Importance of collaboration:

“The city and citizens must realize our objective can only be accomplished through cooperation, through harmony, at all levels.” Independent, March 4, 1961



Long Beach Press-Telegram