David Batt

South Pasadena’s former finance director, David Batt, has passed away.

Details surrounding his passing are sketchy but it’s been reported that Batt died Oct. 25, according to city officials.

The city issued the following statement to its employees last week: “It is with sadness that I share that the city was just informed of the passing of former Finance Director David Batt on October 25, 2018. We are awaiting additional information regarding memorial services for former Finance Director David Batt and will share the information as soon as we receive it.”

Batt served as the city’s interim assistant finance director with Macias Gini & O’Connell, LLP from November 2007 to November 2008, according to city officials.

From November 2008, to June 2014, the city contracted with Arecano, Inc., where again Batt worked as the assistant finance director on behalf of So Pas.

From June 2014 to August of this year, Batt was the city’s finance director.

Batt, who apparently was living in Monrovia at the time of his death, also performed numerous times as a concert pianist for the library and other city events.

In fact, So Pas Library Director Steve Fjeldsted said Batt used to play new-age music under the name Yrsan Daro.

Fjeldsted wrote a story about Batt identifying the pianist as Yrsan Daro.

“If you know where to look, this acclaimed classical, New Age, and jazz musician can be seen 5-days-a-week in the South Pasadena City Hall,” Fjeldsted wrote in his story. “He’s usually behind a desk, in a small office in the Finance Department.  He’s David Batt, the assistant finance director for the city. But he’s known to many music lovers as the mysterious Yrsan Daro.” The story goes on to say that Batt is accomplished musician with three CD’s under his belt that are available at the library.

Upon learning of Batt’s passing, Fjeldsted was laudatory about him as a person and his contributions to the musical landscape in South Pasadena.

“He was incredible,” Fjeldsted said during a brief phone conversation. “He played at many library functions and was a great musician. He will be missed.”

The Review will publish more information as it becomes available.

Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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