City Manager applicant offered two-year contract

In last week’s edition of the Pleasanton Express, it was stated that Bruce Pearson had accepted the job offer for the Pleasanton City Manager position.

Pleasanton Mayor Clint Powell contacted this newspaper afterward and stated, “We have made an offer to a candidate for city manager, but do not have a contract accepted or declined from council or the candidate.”

At the Dec. 15 regular Pleasanton City Council meeting,

Mayor Powell reiterated a similar statement for clarification. Council unanimously dismissed the following agenda items: discussion on previously interviewed candidates for the position of City Manager, discussion and action on possible interview of additional or previously interviewed candidates, as well as discussion and action on possible selection of city manager.

Councilmembers unanimously approved the compensation package as discussed, for the city manager position. It was also mentioned by council that the contract presented is for two years.

Following this item, council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Powell to make a job offer to the selected applicant for the city manager position, and that a contract be presented to him. Councilman Gallegos asked if the selected applicant is aggreable to it, or if there are any changes, that they be presented to council as soon as possible, so it can be finalized.

Council then unanimously dismissed action on continu- ing a month-to-month contract for current City Manager Kathy Coronado. Mayor Powell explained he put the item on the agenda because at this point, no one has accepted the position yet and it is near the end of the month. Gallegos said it was a verbal agreement that Coronado stay until the end of the year. He added that Coronado had also said when the city was ready, she was ready to leave and did not need 60 days or 30 days notice.

Israel said she appreciated Gallegos’ motion to dismiss the item, but the city has not hired a person yet.

“They still have to be able to relocate here,” said Israel. “With the holidays coming up, I would hope we would consider extending Mrs. Coronado until the end of January if necessary.”

Gallegos said he understood the person would start in two weeks and that he does not have to be a resident at this time. Powell said if the candidate accepts it, he recently said the earliest he can start is Jan. 9.

Gallegos suggested making Coronado interim for a few days, if needed. Magel said he agreed with Israel’s comment and that would allow for a smoother transition. Saenz said that City Secretary Cindy Urrabazo could handle it for a few days.

“Mrs. Urrabazo’s been doing a good job. I’m sure she can handle it. I guess she will say for herself whether she can or not,” said Saenz.

Urrabazo answered, “To be fair, we do have two individuals who take her place when she’s not here. I’ve never officially been one of those people. If you wanted someone already on staff, we do have two other people who fill in. I’m here at the office, yes, but officially she does appoint other individuals.”

Councilmember Jackson suggested that since Coronado said she did not need advanced notice, a weekly basis was fine until the city has a signed contract. Putting more on Urrabazo was uncalled for, unless the city wanted to double her salary, said Jackson.

Gallegos said he felt strongly that if he accepts the contract, he needs to come down and work for the next two weeks.

“I agree with Magel that the transition needs to be as smooth as possible, but we don’t need to drag it out,” said Gallegos.

Garza commented, “What we’re doing here is just keeping her on payroll, and she’s off half of the time. Coronado said that she actually had scheduled vacation for the next 1 1/2 weeks because she expected that the city would have replaced her by the end of December. She will be back Dec. 29 and 30 and Public Works Director Johnny Martinez has already been named Acting City Manager in her absence. Beyond those dates is certainly up to council, noted Coronado.

“I have tried to make myself available as needed for the good of that person,” said Coronado.

“Therefore, you can relieve your duties with someone else.” said Garza.

Israel said it may only takes a few days longer of keeping Coronado to update the new city manager.

“It just seems not prudent to not consider just making the transition. I agree with Powell that we need to make the final decision at the last meeting at the end of the year,” said Israel.

Gallegos said he selected the final candidate because of his experience and knowledge and he has confidence in him. More discussion took place, with Martinez commenting he was sure council chose a good person. However, he agreed that a smooth transition between Coronado and the new person was needed.

“I’m not saying we’re going to let Kathy leave now and he’s going to come in and not know what is going on,” said Gallegos. “But, he does have experience and definitely Kathy will have to help him with the transition.”

Gallegos and Garza added that the city was in this situation because of cancelled meetings.

Council will meet for a closed session Dec. 22 for discussion on accepting or modifying the revised contract of the candidate for the city manager position.

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