It’s not up online but this story ran in today’s paper about La Puente officials negotiating with City Manager Carol Cowley to try to keep her as a consultant through the end of the year.
In case you’re not familiar with the story, Cowley announced last month she would be retiring after less than two years as city manager.
So the countdown is on: including today, she’s got only seven work days left before she’s out. While her retirement date is Sept. 30, she’s got two vacation days she is taking on the 29th and 30th, and City Hall is closed on the 26th. So the 25th is really her last day.
LA PUENTE — City officials are trying to negotiate a contract with the city manager to keep her on the job until the end of the year.
Carol Cowley announced last month she would retire on Sept. 30 after less than two years in the top executive seat.
But officials want to keep her in City Hall as a consultant through the end of the year to ease the transition until her permanent replacement is hired.
The two parties have been negotiating through their attorneys for the last three weeks.
“We’re about 90 percent done,” Mayor Louie Lujan said. “It’s just about calling a special meeting to finalize the contract. We’re literally negotiating fine points now.”
Cowley is the city’s first female city manager. She was a city clerk in La Puente for several years before taking on the city manager role on Jan. 1, 2007.
As part of her pension, Cowley would be paid for the rest of her life about half of her nearly $140,000 yearly salary. Her health and dental benefits will be paid by the city for the rest of her life.
Consulting money would be paid on top of that.
“I think the money is fine, I think the terms are fine,” Councilman John Solis said of the negotiations. “They are just trying to figure out what kind of hours we are talking about.”
Officials would not release any further details regarding the proposed contract, citing state laws. Less than a handful of closed-session meetings have been held to discuss the issue.
Cowley declined to comment.
“There’s always the chance she and the city could not agree on terms,” Lujan said.
The city could have an interim city manager or have Assistant City Manager Gregg Yamachika “step up and oversee the transition,” Lujan said.
A final decision would have to be made before Sept. 25, which is scheduled to be Cowley’s last day, Lujan said.
Meanwhile, the council on Tuesday appointed Lujan and Solis to an ad hoc committee to oversee the hiring process for Cowley’s replacement.
La Puente has already received proposals from five executive search firms. They are: Roseville-based Bob Murray & Associates, Los Gatos-based Avery Associates, Peckham and McKenney, Ralph Andersen and Associates and Long Beach-based Alliance Resource Consulting, LLC.
Lujan said he also has received several phone calls from people interested in hearing more about the position.
“I want to find a city manager that’s fair,” Solis said. “That’s hard to find these days. Everyone plays the political game. It’s like a needle in a haystack, but can you find it.”