Morro Bay negotiating separation agreement with city manager

December 4, 2013

Andrea LuekerThe Morro Bay City Council’s special attorney Steven Simas is negotiating a separation agreement with City Manager Andrea Lueker. [Tribune]

The council spent an hour and a half in closed session Tuesday deliberating a severance package for Lueker but did not reach an agreement. The council directed Simas to continue the negotiations.

Simas has handled negotiations with Lueker, as well as with former city attorney Rob Schultz. The city reached a separation agreement last month with Schultz, who announced this week that he has taken the job of town attorney for Los Gatos in Northern California.

Mayor Jamie Irons initiated the separation process with both executives by calling for their firing in September. Opponents of Irons responded by launching a recall effort, which is currently in a signature-gathering phase.

Schultz agreed to resign and received more than $160,000 in severance pay.

Lueker’s contract calls for a similar payout.


fishing village

A City Administrator is an interesting idea.


Exactly what we need… Mayor Irons having more power.


Just wondering Cal Coast News where is your new article on, “the misappropriation of funds.”

Did you decide to do some research and actually call more then one source this time?

And if so did you find out that there was actually no misappropriation of funds?

You should probably take that article down instead of continuing to embarrass yourselves.

Oh I’m sure you’ll delete this comment again also, but no worries I’ll just post it again.

fishing village

Our City has many talented Department heads and I believe that they can perform their duties/work without a City Manager. We have a splendid Administration staff, Police and Fire are outstanding, Harbor Dept is in good hands, Rec & Parks, which has taken over some of the duties of the Public Works Dept regarding streets. The Public works director is one of the best guys I’ve seen in that position. I’m sure what is best for the City will be done.


All or most of the Department Head, I believe, were hired by the current City Manager, hmmmmm


Kevin Rice was asking about what kind of government we would have if we didn’t have a City manager. I did a little checking around and learned that we used to have a City Administrator, which is different, and has less power, meaning the Council would have more.

According to my sources, not long after Yates became Mayor, the City administrator, was suddenly fired late on a Friday with no notice. Gee, and some of you folks are criticizing Irons?

Anyway, according to my sources, the following Monday, the Police Chief left the Police Department and became the new City Administrator, for an announced period of one year, during which time a permanent administrator would be found. It was suspected but not proven that this had been arranged in advance.

So that the Police Chief would not lose his pension (that had been paid into the Police Retirement Fund, but did not carry over), the Yates Council majority agreed to pay all the considerable money necessary to qualify the Chief for the City Employee pension fund so he could retire after the year as City Administrator.

It was reportedly around this time that the Yates majority quietly changed the City by-laws and Morro Bay went from having a City Administrator to having a City Manager. So, since the City went from city administrator to city manager based on a Council vote, I assume they could eliminate the City Manager position with a simple vote.


Of course, that explains it all!

Power hungry Irons wants a, “city administrator,” so he can continue his ways.

I wouldn’t expect anything differently.

He has to keep a city attorney though.

So we will soon have a less powerful city administrator,

a city attorney working 30 hours+ a week for $150-$250 an hour,

both just pushing Irons agenda.

I like how you try to place all this blame on Yates for giving more power to the city employees instead of himself. Sounds like a selfless act to me.


Oh my, mb20, that is just fascinating – and funny, too :)

As for the theory on Yates and his “selfless” nature, I have my doubts. What I was told was that the City Administrator that he fired was a really good person who never did anything wrong. Yates just wanted “his man” in that job. As to why Yates wanted a City Manager instead of a City Administrator, who knows?

I prefer the City Administrator because that gives more control to the Mayor and Council, and they are the ones we residents elect. Therefore, the more control they have, the more control the voters have. The less control the Mayor and Council have, the greater the possibility for outside forces to manipulate City government to pursue agendas that do not benefit the majority of residents.


If you really think that Leuker and Schultz were trying to manipulate city government you clearly have no idea what you are talking about and it is pointless to even argue with you.

Is there any evidence that even remotely suggests this?

I have evidence that Irons is not acting in the best interest of the majority of residents, by the ridiculous amount of residents who were against the firing of Leuker and Schultz. He just smacks his lips and doesn’t listen to anything the citizens are saying.

He would only get worse with a city administrator.

So please enlighten me with how the former city attorney or city manager were manipulating city government? Or are you just continuing to place baseless claims.

Kevin Rice

It sounds like you’re going all the way back to Yates’ first term? Can you pull the minutes for all this stuff, and the staff reports? It would be good info to post.


No thanks, Kevin. I don’t need any more information and going through all those old papers is a dreary task. Yes, you are right, this all happened back in the nineties.


And in the late 1990’s they realized they were losing way too much money having privately contracted employees. Too bad we will have to go through that all over again now thanks to Mr. Irons.


So if you went through the information, you would discover that you had no idea what you were talking about. Keep in mind, FACTS are power, but when you continue to fabricate information, everyone discounts you posts!


If you could reply with some facts vs making it personal.

Or we will discounts your posts!

! or ?


How about the fact that Cambria CSD’s general manager makes more then what Leuker makes?

$157,500 for considerably less issues.

If you think your going to find cheaper city management you are just foolish.

Mayor Irons obviously didn’t even have the vision to look at what cities around us pay…

Does he plan anything out?

fishing village

Oh poor Redsoxman, if you need to praise Andrea, go for it! But, instead you needed to attack me! Just right your own posts, or are you just capable of lashing out at someone elses ideas.


The ass-chapper of it is that this council will be turfed out before the chickens come home to roost on these zany actions.


“Andrea who”? Really? REALLY? You have the audacity to trivialize the the work she’s done in her 27 years with the city? You sound like one of these “new, fresh faces” that have no clue about how a city is run, the responsibilities of the city employees, and how the city council and said employees are supposed to work TOGETHER (not commanded) to map the direction of the city. Your “committee of creative people” sounds like a group of nodding heads to allow Irons carte blanche power to re-create the city of Morro Bay in his own image. I’m feel sorry for you that you think a nice (hopefully) bunch of well-meaning (hopefully) people can effectively navigate a city through the rough waters of budgets, legal issues, commissions, etc. with little, if any, experience. And again, you have a lot of nerve dismissing Andrea as someone to “get past”.


She sure helped keep the streets in good shape!


Well the 300,000 for firing Schultz and Leuker would have been helpful in repaving twice as many streets if Irons had a clue.


Don’t cry for me, Argentina! I’m just calling you out as an ungrateful newbie who does not appreciate a persons hard work over 27 years. And in my humble opinion, your vision of a Morro Bay Utopia with inexperienced other newbies running the show would fail…miserably.


Sorry, that was directed at Fishing Village….

fishing village

you are funny Redsoxman, I’VE lived here 35 years!! So much for what you know.


Ohhhhh I’m sure Redsoxman knows much more then you do.

Redsoxman could probably set this entire comment board straight.

But what do I know I’m only mb20.


Maybe when all this crap is over, MB20, I’ll be able to “out” myself and put all these crazies in their place…..


You already know better then anyone,

The crazies in Morro Bay can’t be changed.


Sigh…..I can dream, can’t I?

fishing village

Andrea who?

we need to get past all of this and on to a new era. If this City can’t survive without 2 specific people as employees then we have a worse problem then we thought! We have great department heads and I know they know their jobs well enough to carry on and they can get behind the council, or not , I guess we will find out. I’m looking forward to 2014 and a fresh start for Morro Bay. Please, join me in supporting council decisions. We will be stronger working together than at odds. We have the new WWTP to decide on, location , type, etc. and the closing of the power plant and it’s buildings and land will need to be examined (if the company lets us, I would like to see a committee of creative people give it some thought. We have a lot of smart people in this town!), our City needs to survive financially and that will depend on our Council to direct funds. I know the tourism industry is improving so that will help everything. I feel really positive about the coming year and will support Mayor Irons in his quest to make this a better place in which to live.


“City needs to survive financially and that will depend on our council to direct funds.”

Too bad our council put us in this mess and has no idea what they are doing…

Direct funds? They can barely direct themselves.


No, the mess was created by City staff and the prior councils. Thank goodness the current council majority is cleaning it up.


How so?

When Irons was elected we had a WWTP for 36 million prepared,

reserve funds placed by the city manager,

a power plant providing us with a huge contract every year,

that was provided by our city attorney.

1. Then since Irons been elected we have spent 40 million + on WWTP mistake,

2. $300,000 on Schultz and Leuker mistakes. And counting.

3. Lost the powerplant (not there fault but there group of supporters rather that proposed the remodel of the power plant so it would still be worthwhile.)

That only took him 1 year too, we lived fiscally responsible for decades and are quickly eliminating all of that.

If you have any reason to claim this mess was created by prior councils let me know? And don’t give me that, “The Council put the WWTP in the wrong place BS.”

If he had literally waited for the CCC to make there decision this would all be fixed. But hey at least that was in good intentions. I can eventually forgive him for that mistake. But combine that with Schultz and Leuker and its a headache.


Uh no, mb20, we have not spent “40 million + on WWTP mistake” That is one of your most bizarre works of fiction yet.

Oh, wait, did you mean 40 million pennies? Even that sounds high.

In fact, The prior councils wasted millions on their WWTP screwup. The amount the current council has spent on the new, sensible project would be counted in the thousands, not millions.

As for your statement, “Lost the powerplant (not there fault …) that is almost as bizarre. Irons had nothing to do with the power plant’s demise. The fact that some of the people who support him once worked to bring about that demise has nothing to do with Irons. He worked there at that time, and undoubtedly wished that the plant would continue to operate.

Fiscally responsible for decades? Uh yeah, right. Both of the prior council majorities were warned repeatedly by residents that the power plant was old and would not be around forever. They were warned that they needed to develop other revenue sources, but instead, they continued to rely on the power plant money – too or incompetent (or both) to do what was necessary to plan for the future.

Budgets were balanced what might be described as “shell games” – moving money from one account to another to make it look like things were fine.

When a respected financial consulting firm was brought in to provide advice on how to put the City on a more solid financial footing, its recommendations were ignored – until now. The current council majority has pulled out that report and they are using the ideas in it to pull us out of the financial mess they inherited.


40 million dollars is a low ball estimate of how much the mistake will cost, because theres no way now the CCC will work with us.

The WWTP would have been approved where it was. Thats our disagreement and it will always stay that way. However, we would actually know the answer to this if Irons didn’t ask the CCC to deny it.

What were his reasons for completely waisting years of work?

What did he gain from not waiting for there response?

Your also mistaken, the past councils tried to update the power plant,

Irons supporters (again not his fault but still relevant),

Kept this from happening and ruined the councils motives,

Then the past councils moved the power plant funds into the reserve funds. Its pretty hard to create another source of revenue when every business owner is interrogated by this Irons group. League can’t even live in his caretaker unit, past mayors get jobs as a liaison for new businesses because no one wants to come here, every single permit is scrutinized to every degree. Buildings can’t be built but at least we have bike lanes cause those bring us a lot of revenue.

The problem in this town is people like you.