In Rosemead, the price of change comes with a $330,000 price tag.
Oliver Chi, who served as city manager for two years, was dismissed Tuesday from the city’s top executive position and is expected to be replaced temporarily by Jeffrey Stewart, a former Rosemead city employee and former city manager of El Segundo.
Chi’s severance package comes just two years after Andrew Lazzaretto received a nearly $250,000 paycheck after the council fired him. But such severance packages are not unusual for city managers. At least, not any more.
About 20 years ago, very few city managers had contracts, said Bill Garrett, executive director of the California City Management Foundation. The theory behind not having contracts was because city managers worked at the will of the council the council should decide when the city manager should leave.
“As time when on, it became apparent that there really needed to be some protection from just an arbitrary firing without any compensation,” Garret said. T
oday, nearly all California city managers have contracts, and the primary reason is for the severance package.
California state law limits the amount of severance package to no more than 18 months, which is what Chi and Lazzaretto negotiated. “I would suggest that it is typical these days for city manager contracts to have from nine to 12 months,” Garret said, “because it probably takes about that time to get a new job.” *
Diamond Bar got a $20 million settlement this week from Industry over Ed Roski’s proposed NFL stadium and entertainment complex.
Under the agreement, which rules out a lawsuit from Diamond Bar, the city will receive more than $20 million to deal with traffic, noise and light effects from the stadium, Bethania Palma Markus reported.
But Industry still has two more outstanding lawsuits to deal with: one filed by the city of Walnut and the most recent suit filed another filed by a Walnut citizen group. T
he group, Citizens for Communities Preservation Inc., said it wanted to make sure there was a lawsuit just in case the recall effort targeting Walnut Councilman Joaquin Lim, Councilwoman Nancy Tragarz and Mayor Mary Su is successful.
And still no word on what team — or teams — could be coming to Industry.
It’s hard to paint a rosy picture when unemployment and deficits in area cities are the highest they’ve been in years, but new Covina Mayor Walt Allen tried his best to have a positive outlook when he delivered the state of the city address Wednesday.
“All in all, I am extremely optimistic about Covina’s future, and I have no doubt that we will be able to enhance the quality of life in Covina,” he said.
Among the city’s goals over the next three years are to improve and promote customer service, enhance financial stability and improve and expand parks, library and recreation services.
Allen highlighted some of the city’s accomplishments over the past year, including a balanced budget, the ability to stave off the closure of departments and layoffs and getting voter approval to extend the user’s utility tax.