Morro Bay Council looking to terminate city manager and attorney

September 12, 2013

The Morro Bay City Council has scheduled a special meeting for 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss terminating the city’s manager and attorney.

morro bay plantMorro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons and council members Christine Johnson and Noah Smukler called the special meeting to discuss in closed session the termination of City Manager Andrea Leuker and attorney Robert Schultz.

The meeting will be held at City Hall instead of the Veterans Memorial Building where council meetings are typically held.

Both Leuker and Schultz requested that any complaints or charges against them be heard in open session rather than behind closed doors as is their legal right under the Ralph M. Brown Act.

Leuker, a city employee for 26 years, became the city manager in 2008. Her current annual salary is $152,224 a year. For the past 16 years, Schultz has served as the city’s attorney. His current salary is $151,588 a year.

 







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BullyHater

What is your problem? If you disagree with the council… then by all means, disagree. And do it publicly and loud (PS – did you stand up and talk today?).
But for God’s sake, keep the name-calling and insults to yourself. Your stupid is showing!!! Noah is a caring and very nice guy (far from Schmuck status) and Christine is a very intelligent woman who has done fantastic things for Morro Bay (especially in the Library system). Use your smart words buddy… and leave your school-yard bullying out of the smart-people game.

Kalalau

UNBELIEVABLE!! Heard the latter part of the meeting at the Vets hall which was standing room only. Apparently Jamie Irons has had NO complaints on either one of them….and therefore according to the rules they now are in closed session. So they are not being fired for cause…..This is outrageous! And I believe they will be due a large severance amount due to the fact that they are being fired without cause. What the heck is going on?????

vergonha

you need to get a life, or have another drink.

Pelican1

The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

kayaknut

You might need to clarify, many seem to think the lunatics took over the asylum year/decades ago and the people are trying to get control back.

Pelican1

Oh, quite to the contrary. The asylum is a most recent phenomenon propagated by those who insist on destroying a once charming seaport / fishing village, and tourist destination point.
Where once 40 years ago folks talked of fishing on boats from Bob’s and Virg’s and mud shrimping in the back bay, to the quaint shops on the embarcadero including Brebs. Now, it’s talk of NO entrainment, NO power plant, NO sewer, No fireworks, NO fishing, NO back bay hunting, NO Hawaiian shirts, and NO fun!

Myself

Seeing as there hasn’t been any scuttle butt around town as to Andrea and Rob being a problem I wondered if this was a personal thing, it does seem to be that way, it seems that Irons thinks that he runs the city, telling staff what to do and how to do it, in step Andrea and Rob explaining that no you don’t run things here on your own these matters are to be brought up to CITY COUNCIL for action not you, ahhh so now it becomes a personal thing with Irons.
Also this seems to be let on to the public but its also very short notice, from what I hear public comment will be heard then there will be a closed meeting to “terminate” these two,meeting to be at 1 PM at city hall then to be moved to the vets building.

MaryMalone

Usually, it is the city council which sets policies (supposedly with the input of the city attorney–sometimes city attorneys are just rubberstamps for whatever the city council wants to do, legalities be dammed), and it is the city manager who then directs staff employees on how to implement the city council’s decisions.

This serves several purposes, one of them being separating the politicians on the city council from redress for the any illegalities involved in how the city council’s policies are implemented by the city manager. It also limits the number of people who direct staff members on carrying out the city council’s policies. This frees up city staff from being burdened with conflicting directions from multiple sources.

The mayor’s role is usually similar to that of a chief executive officer, the public-relations face of the city, and can be in charge of the day-to-day administration of the city business. The mayor is usually a member of the city council.

Unless the city attorney and city manager are acting in ways that are harmful to the city, I question why the city council and mayor would want to get rid of both the city attorney and manager at the same time. This would seem to be begging for a destabilization of the administration of city business.

mbactivist1

There is, and has been for years, a LOT of talk about Schultz and Lueker being a problem and I’m really surprised you never heard it. They work for the special interests who want to run this town so that they can make big money on the backs of the majority of residents. Irons, Christine Johnson and Smukler want what is best for the vast majority of the residents – honest, ethical,and frugal government. To get that, they must deal with the problem staff people.

Sombic

The only talk that you refer to is coming from a vocal minority of lunatics like yourself, Today was just a taste of what is to come when the new Council majority try to pull this type of shenanigans. Wake up!

Jorge Estrada

Could this mean that a gargantic pay raise is a political No, so their removal will allow for two new hires at twice the price? Compared to other governisticrats, Morro Bay is setting a bad example by paying to low for their top jobs.

Jorge Estrada

If the wind were to change direction, I’d agree, but for Morro Bay the smell is fishy.

racket

About the smell: I think it’s the south wind blowing over the leach fields of Los Osos.

Rambunctious

I don’t know whats going on here but if Jamie…Christine…and Noah are involved. It can’t be good. These three stooges need to be replaced and from what I hear around town they most likely will be. They also pulled the sales tax trigger this week…typical liberal reaction to everything…raise taxes.

mbactivist1

Dream on.

slophocles

What does “around town” mean? I’m looking at the last election results and they are so decisive that even if these three have lost a little support, they still have a lot. I think that election showed that the people of Morro Bay have trust in them. Let’s just wait and see.

Myself

Actually what most people have said is that they thought that Irons was the lessor of two evils, this doesn’t mean they like him it meant that he may have been better.
Nope he’s not.

MaryMalone

Indeed.

The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Pelican1

Welcome to Morro Bay…A Nerd Sanctuary.

MaryMalone

LOL. When is their mating season?

Rambunctious

unfortunately it’s year round…lol

racket

Can we shoot ’em, like the ducks in the Back Bay???

pasoparent5

I wish the headline was about Paso Robles…

mbactivist1

A lot of people clearly want to know what this is about. They want to know what Schultz and Lueker are accused of doing. So do I. However, the fact is, personnel matters like this are always handled with strictest confidentiality. That is true not only here, but everywhere. This protects both the city and the persons who are accused of wrongdoing.

Schultz and Lueker know very well that this is how things are done, and must be done. Their suggestion that everything be done in the open is ridiculous – and one they would never make if they were not the ones whose dismissal is being considered. It appears that their suggestion is merely a ploy to try to make the Council look sneaky.

In fact, the Council is following standard procedure. There are kinds of issues that the Council MUST keep confidential. This is one of them. To my knowledge, no one has ever revealed the reasons why two top-ranking Morro Bay City staff people were forced out a few years ago.

No City Council takes this kind of action unless there is solid evidence that someone has done something very seriously wrong. This is no fun for anybody – and is a miserable duty for the Council. They know and probably like Schultz and Lueker on a personal level. They undoubtedly have socialized with them at City functions. They know the kids’ names and have met the spouses.

However, when you sign up to serve on the Council, you accept the responsibility to keep the City running in a manner that serves the best interests of the residents. Sometimes that means firing staff. It has happened here before, and it will no doubt happen again.

Kevin Rice

I can cross-post too…

At-will employees do not enjoy the same privacy as regular employees, and it has been waived here. Further, we’ll know if there was cause or simple dismissal because severance ($300,000+ here) is only paid when there is no cause. The public will know, as is their right. A major mayoral blunder.

mbactivist1

I don’t believe this is a simple as you make it out to be, but the hearing itself will tell the story.

In general, whether people waive their rights or not, privacy in regard to termination of even at-will employees is still an issue in most places of employment. I can recall terminations of contract (at-will) employees who worked where I did, and we were cautioned never to discuss the reasons why they were let go. That was because of the high risk of lawsuits. Even when someone was totally incompetent and/or dishonest, and cost us a ton of money, corporate legal always cautioned against saying anything bad about that person.

Kevin Rice

You err in comparing corporate matters to public matters. There is a Constitutional right for the public to know and control their government.

MaryMalone

QUOTING MBACTIVIST1: “In general, whether people waive their rights or not, privacy in regard to termination of even at-will employees is still an issue in most places of employment.”

That depends on the nature of the parting between those being terminated and those doing the terminating.

If it is politically expedient for those doing the firing to reveal the details–unless there is an agreement of nondisclosure–those doing the firing will usually reveal the details.

If those being fired have been working to decrease the illegal actions by those doing the firing, then those doing the firing won’t want to reveal the details.

However, as we have seen by local political activism, sometimes the city to reveal information about the firing.

Human Reason

The Government Code states that the employee has the absolute right to have this matter heard in open session if there are will be any charges and complaints heard or discussed. The Mayor has stated in writing that there are no complaints or charges against Shultz or Lueker. Therefore there is no wrongdoing!

Kalalau

Therefore the Mayor is acting very suspiciously…..It also came up at the meeting that they had both been given excellent reviews within the last five months. This action by J. Irons is very suspect….and besides losing two apparently good people….it will cost the citizens of Morro Bay a LOT of money in severance pay due to NO CAUSE.

slophocles

Thanks. That is a much more logical explanation – however, the political angle is always there and it shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone in Morro Bay if there are political motives here – not saying 100% political, but there it seems that EVERYTHING in Morro Bay is political to some degree. Hard to imagine Leuker or Schultz doing anything extremely inappropriate, but we shall see, as the Bay flushes once again.

MaryMalone

QUOTING MBACTIVIST1: “No City Council takes this kind of action unless there is solid evidence that someone has done something very seriously wrong.

This is absolutely not true.

Kalalau

“No City Council takes this kind of action unless there is solid evidence that someone has done something very seriously wrong. ” Apparently according to Jamie Irons at the open part of the session there IS NO CAUSE, NO COMPLAINT etc. This is outrageous!!

Sombic

Calling a meeting that quick when most people who have a life are at work IS VERY SNEAKY. The public deserves to have input on a decision of this magnitude,