Rosemead spends $330,000 for a ‘new direction’

Looks like my head was up my rear afterall, as one of our readers noted.

Oliver Chi got a nearly $330,000 severance package, and the council will offer Jeffrey Stewart, a former Rosemead employee and former city manager of El Segundo, as interim city manager, Rebecca Kimitch reports.

This takes the tally up to nearly $600,000 that the council has paid out over the past two years in severance packages to its fired city managers. Andy Lazzarretto got a nearly $262,000 severance package when he was fired in 2007.

But is the price worth it to fire another city manager? Absolutely, Councilwoman Margaret Clark said.

Asked if that price was worth terminating Chi, Clark said, “yes, to get a new direction, yes.”

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if Chi was SOOOO bad for Rosemead that nothing short of a quick termination at all cost was justified, but I do think it’s a bit cavalier the way these elected play musical chairs with these executive level positions at taxpayer expense.

    At some point you need to stick with a plan.

    Here is an interesting article regarding school districts (similar in organization to city’s). Scroll to the section entitled:
    “You say in the book that money is especially likely to be wasted in urban schools.” It talks about principals (similar to city managers) constantly being changed and the effect that has on long term planning for a school. I think strong parallels can be drawn.

  • Anonymous
  • jerry matsdorf

    Since the city manager serves at the pleasure of the city council and through them the people, it is imperative they be on the same page regarding the goals/philosophy of the city. There were many issues during the last administration where Chi sided with the parties in power (a trait he repeatedly displays, ask Claremont) instead of remaining neutral.
    In the interest of creating the harmony that is necessary in order to rid city hall of the turmoil that has recently existed, a clean start becomes a requisit in spite of the cost. There may be more dismissals to follow along with some serious reorganization.
    It is hoped that the interests of the city prevail rather than those of over-ambitious individuals.

  • Anonymous

    Frankly, I think most city managers are used as convenient scape goats by electeds whose egos are too large and whose sense of integrity is too thin to accept responsiblity for their own poor decision making and their own crazy quilt vision for their cities which is usually inspired by nothing more than the selfish demands of whatever monied interest(developers, consultants, lawyers, slum lords, unions…whomever)is applying pressure on them.

    At the end of the day, it’s the 5 people on the horseshoe dais who set the course. Pitty too many of them can’t bring themselves to admit when they are wrong. Better to have some staffer take the hit….after all the these elected are all “legends in their own minds”….what would the word be if we didn’t have them ruling (err I mean) governing us.

  • Anonymous

    Chi like many city managers made a bad decision in taking sides. The minute any city manager sides with the given majority it is a sign of trouble down the line. This is considered the “kiss of death,” meaning that those who are in the minority never forget. If and when the minority become the majority you can bet your bottom dollar that this “foolish” city manager will hit the road, sooner than he thinks. Most of these managers are too eager to please and “brown nose” their place with the majority of the city council. It is a fatal mistake. One would think that THEY would knowvbetter, but they don’t. They should of learned from the others, that were left at the curb.

  • Anonymous

    Chi like many city managers made a bad decision in taking sides. The minute any city manager sides with the given majority it is a sign of trouble down the line. This is considered the “kiss of death,” meaning that those who are in the minority never forget. If and when the minority become the majority you can bet your bottom dollar that this “foolish” city manager will hit the road, sooner than he thinks. Most of these managers are too eager to please and “brown nose” their place with the majority of the city council. It is a fatal mistake. One would think that THEY would knowvbetter, but they don’t. They should of learned from the others, that were left at the curb.