Arroyo Grande city manager terminated
June 29, 2016
The Arroyo Grande City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday to fire its General Manager Dianne Thompson, who the council placed on paid administrative leave last week.
Thompson will receive six months severance pay, or approximately $115,000. While the council did not provide a reason for Thompson’s termination, inside sources said that several high-ranking city staffers had voiced concern about Thompson’s job performance.
Because Thompson worked for the city for less than a year, if the city council engages the recruiter who vetted Thompson, Peckham and McKenney Executive Search, they will only be charged expenses. Even so, some members of the public question the firms vetting process as a quick internet search shows that Thompson had similar issues with previous employers.
In Aug. 2015, Thompson began working as the Arroyo Grande city manager for an annual compensation of approximately $229,000, including salary and benefits. During the past 10 months, members of the public and the council have questioned Thompson’s performance.
While Thompson touted the importance of transparency, she failed to return phone calls to the press, members of the public and even some council members.
In closed session, the council voted to have Director of Public Works Geoff English serve as interim city manager while they begin the search for a new city manager.
After 14 years as city manager, in Nov. 2014, the Arroyo Grande City Council voted unanimously to place Steve Adams on paid administrative leave after reviewing an investigation into an alleged sex scandal. The council then voted to terminate Adams and search for a new city manager.