LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The executive director for the Port of Los Angeles will retire by the end of the year, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday.

Sources at City Hall told CBS2 that the mayor wanted new leadership to replace Geraldine Knatz, who has run the port since 2006, in order to accelerate port modernization, increase shipping and improve relationships with neighborhoods that surround the port.

“I thank Dr. Knatz for her service to Los Angeles,” Garcetti said. “My agenda for the port is focused on maximizing its economic impact and minimizing its environmental impact to build stronger neighborhoods in the Harbor area and across Los Angeles.”

Knatz released a statement saying she decided to pursue other interests.

“In a commitment to a smooth transition, I plan to remain in my position through the end of the year and support the mayor and the port in any way that I can,” she said. “I am proud of the many accomplishments that our team made at the Port of Los Angeles during my tenure.”

Earlier this year, Knatz admitted to numerous mistakes involving the renovation of the port’s 73-foot tourist yacht, the Angelena II.

Harbor officials have spent $3 million renovating the boat, which was five times more than the original budget.

John Holmes, the project director for the Angelena II, also recently resigned.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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