Pearson’s contract extended until 2017

On Jan. 17, the Pleasanton City Council voted unanimously to extend City Manager Bruce Pearson’s contract for an additional three years after Jan. 8, 2014, to be until Jan. 8, 2017. His salary was agreed upon in executive session by both parties.

Members of the council are Mayor Clinton J. Powell, Jimmy Magel (Dist. 1), Abraham Saenz (Dist. 2), Kathy Coronado (Dist. 3), J. R. Gallegos (Dist. 4), Roger G. Garza (Dist. 5) and Jeanne B. Israel (Dist. 6).

Councilmembers met in closed session for about 40 minutes for a performance review of Pearson and discussion about his contract. Prior to this, eight members of the audience, mostly city employees, expressed their support for Pearson. Those individuals were: Wastewater Plant Superintendent Johnny Huizar, Kristi Bandy (Accounts Payable), Police Chief Ronald Sanchez, Maria Lozano (Human Resources), Pleasanton ISD Superintendent Cynthia Clinesmith, Steven Aniol, City Engineer John Metting and Public Works Director Johnny Martinez.

Huizar was the first to speak. He thanked Pearson for the job he has done for Pleasanton and city employees.

“We have seen some positive changes that I feel have helped this city continue forward,” said Huizar.

He listed some of Pearson’s accomplishments, which included: pulling this community together and settling a highly controversial issue regarding the community center, putting a plan of action for the center and improving benefits for city employees.

Bandy described Pearson as an honest, positive person with compassion and great communication skills. She said she was so proud of her working family and that Pearson does not accept gratitude. Bandy said his hard work should not go unnoticed.

Chief Sanchez said that as a new police chief, he often receives compliments on Pleasanton. He tells people that the council, mayor and city manager work well together. He said the council deserved a round of applause for hiring Pearson.

Lozano praised Pearson as a great city manager who is very professional and knowledgeable.

“He came in right when the oil boom began and is taking care of what needs to be done to keep the city growing, but at a safe standpoint,” said Lozano.

She considered herself very fortunate to work with him. He encourages her not to underestimate herself or settle for less. She added that she loves her job and asked council to extend his contract.

Dr. Clinesmith said Pearson has stepped up as far as critical decisions are concerned. He has created a culture of “openness” and she continues to be impressed by him.

Aniol commented that it is apparent Pearson loves the city and he added, “You struck gold with him.”

Metting said that Pearson speaks from the heart and he does what he knows is right for Pleasanton, the residents and employees. He looks forward to working with Pearson. He ended by saying, “Please realize that none of us are taking anything away from those who served before Pearson, as he was challenged to have enormous shoes to fill.”

Martinez said he has learned a lot and that Pearson is leading everyone in the right direction as it continues to grow. Pearson has been a great asset.

“From day one you asked me to call you Bruce. To this day, I have called him Mr. Pearson. Now the city thanks you, Bruce, for what you have done for the City of Pleasanton and its employees,” said Martinez.

After the extension was granted, Pearson spoke briefly. He said he was asked recently by an employee why he did not want any recognition. “Well, to be recognized by you all is good enough,” said Pearson.

He explained that Mayor Powell had asked to know what the employees thought. There was not any solicitation by anyone but the mayor and it was turned over to the Human Resources Specialist.

Pearson ended, “To hear those kind words this evening was really humbling and almost scary. Usually those are the kinds of things only your mother says. I thank this council for allowing us the latitude to step outside the box and guide this city under your leadership. I am only as good as the employees in this city and we have great employees.”

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