Arroyo Grande manager’s resignation text revealed

May 4, 2020

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

Typing eight words, two periods and hitting the send button was all it took for the city of Arroyo Grande’s top executive to resign in the midst of a pandemic and global economic downturn.

A records request for Arroyo Grande City Manager Jim Bergman’s resignation letter has revealed Bergman resigned on Thursday by way of the following text message sent to city officials:

“I resign. I will not be coming back.”

Bergman, who has not spoken publicly about his decision to leave his post as city manager, was reportedly clashing with Arroyo Grande Mayor Caren Ray Russom. Sources say Bergman and Ray Russom were at odds over who would hold the responsibility for delivering coronavirus updates to the council and the public.

At last week’s council meeting, Councilwoman Lan George asked Bergman a question about the city’s response to the coronavirus. While Bergman was attempting to answer George’s question, Ray Russom interrupted him, saying she would answer all questions about the virus.

Several of Ray Russom’s fellow council members also voiced disapproval of Ray Russom for not getting council approval before she signed Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham’s letter to the governor on behalf of the city. A few years ago, the city passed a policy requiring council members to obtain council approval before signing any documents as a city representative.

On Sunday, Ray Russom addressed Bergman’s departure in a video she posted on Facebook.

“This was an individual decision made by Mr. Bergman in his own best interests, and I can’t speak to why he made that decision. That’s for him to share with you at a time of his choosing,” Ray Russom said.

But, Ray Russom denied allegations that any fraud or malfeasance could have factored into Bergman’s decision.

“I really just want to put the rumor mill to rest. There is nothing terrible that has gone on here. There is no fraud, no malfeasance, nothing that Mr. Bergman had done that caused the city council to take any action,” Ray Russom said.

Ray Russom also used the Facebook video to tell members of the public to temper their rhetoric amid the pandemic. The public should be grateful for, and compassionate to, public servants and should be thanking them, rather than blaming them, she said.

Bergman had replaced former city manger Dianne Thompson, whom the council voted to terminate in 2016.

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TKG

Jim Bergman was a class act. Too bad Russom had to flex her power and ego to a man who didn’t deserve it. And leave it to Jim to come up with the shortest resignation letter ever. after all “Brevity is the soul of wit”.


Thinking good thoughts though about his replacement. Bill Robeson, who Bergman brought on board as Public Works Director, is cut from the same cloth. We should wish him well and hope Russom doesn’t repeat her arrogant act.


analyticone

We should be grateful —– for her????? Remember when the Sanitation District was the subject of constant public complaint and scrutiny? She did the same thing – “Hey folks, look the other way. Everything is just fine here. Just fine. No problems here.”


Eyes Everywhere

I hope there are term limits for Arroyo Grande mayor. Hopefully we’ll soon find a vaccine for COVID-19. I’m not as optimistic that we can contain Mayor Russom’s ego and sense of self-importance.


Fleet

Definitely the resignation of a man at the end of his rope.


r0y

I am wondering what they blackmailed him with? Men are so weak now-a-days, the slow creep of anti-masculinity, destruction of the family, and many other factors have led us to this.


We’ll be ruled by Karens for a bit, then it gets ugly.


Side_Show_Bob

Oh LOOK!! It’s Caren Ray being….uhhh…Caren Ray! No surprises here. She’s just high on a powertrip during a crisis.


Silence Dogood

Bergman was a great fiscal manager and was the only hope to save the city from Bankruptcy. With the lost revenue from sales tax via COVID shutdown, huge shortfall in pension contribution, a underfunded firefighting service and now the expenses relating to an executive recruitment, the future looks very dismal. Caren wanting to be the PIO for exposure to enhance her political ambition and trying to stiff the city for an $18 shot is a clear picture of her position in the #me-me movement. The people of our city deserve better leadership than she is capable of providing. IMHO


commonsenseguy

If only Caren would type those same eight words and then hit “send”. Do you remember what I said about her greed for power and control? Continue to watch her actions. Time for a recall?


IronHub

“I should be thanked; be grateful.” Caren Ray Russom/Donald Trump


r0y

Except Trump has actually done a lot of really good things (some not so good, ofc); to even consider Caren-I’ve-done-nothing-ever Ray in the same league as DJT is supremely ignorant.


IronHub

As usual you don’t get it, rOy. And apparently a lot of others, also. Both Ray-Russom and Trump made the very same boast. Get it?


Julie

https://www.facebook.com/electcarenray/videos/559430458030317/


How dare she even breathe the words “Fraud” and “Malfeasance”. She is the one who thinks she’s entitled to the people’s money through a 97% raise, a free jacket, and a shot of whiskey on the the public’s dime. (She did end up paying $40.00 for the jacket and $18.00 for the 1oz. shot of Lagavulin 16 whiskey to the city — but only after I asked for receipts).


derasmus

Lagavulin, my favorite single malt. Sometimes on sale at Costco for about $70 bottle.