Morro Bay moves forward on terminating city attorney and manager

November 13, 2013

IMG_0332The Morro Bay City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve a severance agreement with city attorney Robert Schultz and 3-2 to begin negotiations to oust city manager Andrea Lueker.

Mayor Jamie Irons along with council members Christine Johnson and Noah Smukler voted to terminate Lueker. Council members Nancy Johnson and George Leage opposed the action.

Lueker will continue to manage the city while her severance package is negotiated.

Irons asked the city council to approve another $5,000 for attorney Steven Simas to handle negotiations with Lueker. The council had already approved $20,000 for Simas to construct an agreement with Schultz.

In addition to the settlement agreement costs, the city is required to pay both terminated employees nine months of severance pay which amounts to about $114,000 each.

In early September, Irons began promoting the terminations of Schultz and Lueker. Irons has not stated publicly why he has called for the termination of the city’s top two employees and is now facing a recall effort.

Iron cites employee confidentiality as the reason he is not telling the public why he wants the city’s two at-will employees terminated.

 


Loading...
slojustice

I was told that Irons wants to contract the fire department with Cal Fire and the police with the sheriffs department. And Leuker and Schultz were opposed because they wanted more public input to the process and Irons wanted to accomplish this quickly before the public could react.


mbactivist1

Baloney


Human Reason

Irons absolutely wants to contract out all City Services. It is why he constantly refers to the MP Report.


slophocles

Can anybody spot the “weasel words” in this post? ….. (Jeopardy music) ….. What are “I was told that ….?” …. Right!


probiz

I honestly don’t know that the move to Cal Fire would be a bad one, but, can’t see replacing the PD. Too much goes on in town, especially during the busy tourist season.


slophocles

Getting myself checked – actually agree with probiz on this though probably disagree on the causes of the current prevalence of crime in town.


Pelican1

I hope Schultz and Lueker sue the city into the Stone Age.


mbactivist1

They probably have to sign an agreement not to sue in order to collect the severance money. That’s usually how it works. They can either take the severance, a sure thing, or gamble on a lawsuit that they would very likely lose – and in the process of a lawsuit, a whole lot of their dirty laundry would be aired.


Pelican1

“Their” dirty laundry? The only thing dirty here, is the Mayor’s approach to governance.


mbactivist1

Not so. The Council would never have fired those two unless they had done some really, really bad things. People have been telling this council (and past ones, for many years) about numerous examples of the staff’s bad behavior. Finally, we have an ethical council majority that does not support and encourage the staff’s misdeeds and is working to put a stop to them.


kkeene88

Baloney!!


mb20

Thats ridiculous if there was even a little bit of cause the city wouldn’t have settled for as much. Why would Schultz deny an offer for 3 or 6 months of severence if there was actually cause? This was just a blatant power move by Mayor Irons because he didn’t like Schultz and Leuker and has his own agenda.


Redsoxman

Activist, your post shows how little you know about the situation, and how your only function on these boards is to stir the pot based on non-information and hearsay.Can anyone spot the “weasel words” in your post? (Jeopardy music)…What are “..really, really bad things”, “People have been telling….” and “…numerous examples…”. You might want to consider moving to Bakersfield so you can complain about the weather….


Pelican1

Ethical? Because you agree with their vision of what Morro Bay “should” be makes them ethical?

Exactly what are the really, really bad things that they allegedly did?

Please explain how ethics and morality played a role in their decision making.

Morality in Morro Bay will return when the recall is complete.


racket

Lueker’s real good choice for an attorney would be Rob Schultz. He knows the City, and I hear he’s available.


mb20

Nah, Schultz doesn’t want to work for this city of crazies anymore.

Too bad but I don’t blame him. The other question is… who would want to work here?


probiz

I think the move to fire Andrea is stupid for more than the obvious reason. By delaying her firing he extended the debate for probably another month at least. He had the ability to fire both her and Schultz in September. They are at will employees. He should have done both at once and done so immediately at that point. He allowed it to become a fiasco and drag on for months further calling his leadership skills into question. Bad decisions to fire both of them further drawing scrutiny for the idiotic ways that he handled it. Amateur skills at best.


slophocles

Can someone please explain to me why everyone is starting their posts out: “Can someone please …?”?


givemeabreak2

Because of YOU, slophocoles. We learned it watching YOU.


Human Reason

Can someone explain to me why Irons had to hire an attorney and pay him 20k and take 60 days to fire Shultz and pay him what he was owed under his contract? Are they now going to pay another 20k and take another 60 days to fire Lueker and pay her what is owned under her contract. Great use of funds!


SLOBIRD

Because it is a government agency and the deals have to be legally worked so someone can give someone money and someone doesn’t disclose or sue someone else. Ask Paso, they have experience in this arena!


slophocles

Can anyone verify or deny the rumor I am hearing that the recall effort is stalling due to lack of signatures?


racket

Rumor I get is that they’ve gotten all the sigs they need. Can anyone confirm or deny that?


slophocles

I can’t but it seems like if they did they’d be very proud and run right to the media with it.


racket

And do you think your initial query is the inverse of that? An sideways attempt to deflate their efforts?


slophocles

No, I’m genuinely curious. I figured we’d be kept abreast every step of the way.


probiz

I would wait until the last possible moment, continue to raise funds, file the petition as required and go full speed ahead. The more information that they provide ahead of time allows Irons to be better prepared.


slophocles

Ah, a (secret) recall.


slophocles

Wow. My “dislike” response times are getting shorter and shorter. That one was under 3 minutes! I must be making more and more sense.


mbactivist1

Slophocles, you are one of the few CCN posters who always does make sense. That’s why you get the negative responses. People don’t like their silly propaganda exposed with logic and common sense.


Redsoxman

I’ve got a great idea…seeing that Sloppy and MBA seem to know everything about how to run a city, they should run for mayor/city council in the next election. Then we would all be the beneficiaries of their pearls of wisdom! They can run on a “Transparency ‘R’ Us” platform.


slophocles

Did you just call me “Sloppy”? Well, I guess I am pretty sloppy come to think of it. Now, as for that city council bid – let me run it by my people and mbactivist1’s people, and I’ll get back to you.


slophocles

Okay, here’s what I’ve come up with: in the middle, starting center, that Philly of the Follies, Janice Peters. To her left, Nancy “The Dahlia” Johnson and Betty the Barnstormer Winholtz. On the right side: Christine “Leave My Husband Out of This” Johnson, and next to her an unfilled seat to be named, the reason being it will need to be filled by a smart, conservative female and they are hard to come by. Alright, let’s say Carla “Not In My Kitchen” Borchard. See where I’m going here? An all-female council to get this city back on the right track. It’s time to boot all the men! Well, after this whole recall thing blows over.


Redsoxman

I hate to say this, but…..that…just…might…work!


slophocles

Can someone please explain to me this “handout” kick Grantham is on? He used it last night and at another meeting and even called into Congalton, groveling about “handouts”. This isn’t another one of those Mitt Romney 47-percent gripes, is it? We all know how that election turned out.


givemeabreak2

he could maybe think someone is after his money. How would you like it if someone was after yours?


SLOthinker

Still no explanation to the citizens of MB, this is political suicide.


slophocles

Don’t voters decide that?


SLOthinker

Yes, that is what I mean. I think they are going to lose the swing vote that got them elected.


mb20

It’s going to be awkward when Irons gets replaced and two more of the proclaimed, “old guard,” get voted in. And Smukler and Chiristine have no idea what to do without there leader.


Meanwhile we will have a new city manager and city attorney who were brought in by a guy who was then kicked out in 6 months.


And who are we really going to get to apply to be attorney? You’ve got a past attorney and city manager who were loved. A mayor who is getting recalled. And they expect someone to relocate for the job? They’ve effectively limited themselves to only people in SLO County…


probiz

It will take awhile to do a search and screen candidates. Rob and Andrea can reapply after the recall in June. LOL.


slophocles

Ah, so that’s the strategy. It’s been my experience that once you’ve been fired, it’s more difficult to get hired places.


Redsoxman

Ah, but if you’re fired “without cause”, you’re golden. Look at all the bad press that Lichtig garnered before she applied to SLO, and she STILL got hired!


mb20

Ahhhhh you would be surprised. Schultz has gotten several job offers and turned them down to stay in Morro Bay. Cities have now seen this as an opportunity to get a good city attorney.


He will be hired before the year ends is my prediction.


slophocles

Ahhhhhhhhh.


slophocles

I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if it did, Smukler would be right at home. In case you haven’t been paying attention, he’s been fighting 4 to 1 council dynamics his whole political career, the future of which is very bright and just getting started.


probiz

He had plenty of time serving with Winholtz. By the way, what has Smukler every successfully accomplished? I have tried to find information about him online but always see items related to Surfrider. Is that it? Where did he work? What is his expertise? H


slophocles

Let me guess.YOU were more “successful” at his age than he is? Does it always have to come back to YOU?


mbactivist1

He owns and operates his own business, which does quite well, by the way.


slophocles

I was going to point that out but figured probiz would just use it to talk about his own “successes” and “achievements”. Let him continue to look online.


slophocles

A lot of those people aren’t signing the recall petition because of who’s behind it. They may not like Irons but they remember the old days too.


probiz

You know that how? Gallup and the other polling organizations get it wrong all the time and they supposedly are unbiased and use scientific methods. Not sure unbiased describes you and I am guessing your sphere of influence is very like minded.


slophocles

I don’t. I’ve started doing the same thing everyone else does in this forum, I use anecdotes from my personal life (in this case, talking to a couple – yes you’re right – like-minded individuals). I take a truthful statement such as “people aren’t signing the recall petition because of who’s behind it” but at the beginning I add the words “a lot” and it becomes “a lot of people” instead of just “people” or “one or two people”, and technically, two people could be lots of people compared to zero people or one person. In doing this, I now make it sound like there could be some kind of movement sweeping across Morro Bay, a wave of people now refusing to sign this petition because of the reasons stated.There could be, but not because I know one or two people that aren’t signing the petition. I refrained from doing this sort of thing for the longest time, but what’s the point? It’s used and believed on such a widespread basis, primarily by the Right, that you’re really at at a disadvantage if you don’t play along. I am getting quite good at it.


Dapperman

They will…


mb20

The comedy will only ensue for another year with smukler and Christine still there without Irons. And if he gets recalled it will be much more awkward. We will have an attorney hired in March and Irons being recalled by June.


The mere fact that Irons was stupid enough to continue with firing Schultz and Leuker when a recall effort was thrown at him for doing it shows he is incompetent for the job.


Complete political suicide.


I wonder if he will even bother to rerun.


SLOBIRD

Or, he had the guts to do the right thing regardless of the recall threat. His leadership is working on the issues he supported.


mb20

Lets be real SLOBIRD there was no cause. 0. It was that he didn’t like the advice he was getting because it was different then what he wanted to do. If anyone had the guts do the right thing it was Schultz and Leuker for not cowering down to the mayor.


slophocles

The comedy was before. This is more tension-packed drama. We have gone from Comedy Central to Lifetime and hopefully when it’s all over we will have something good and unbiased like MSNBC.


mb20

They will both me already gone…

Hired somewhere for more money where they won’t have to deal with the Morro Bay crazies.