It was a very quick meeting of the Tustin City Council last night. There was not much to discuss unless you were held in rapt attention by those who spoke against the installation of the Edison Smart Meters. In fact, that probably took up as much time as the rest of the meeting. Everyone on the dais was nice to the mother and daughter team who spoke out against the meters but, I distinctly heard a giggle from the dais while one of the ladies talked.
I realize the council is supposed to be non-partisan but we all know that is not true. There is a Republican majority, led by Jerry Amante and His Kids (OK, it has to be a majority, one way or the other). So, it was no surprise that, when it came time to discuss the matter of the creation of the Assistant Executive Director position, there was no discussion at all. I’m surprised because both Beckie Gomez and Deborah Gavello voted against the establishment of the position but did not offer any explanation from the dais. Mind you, this is not an employee issue. It is the creation of a new position specifically for the purpose of allowing a retiring employee to double-dip. Open discussion could have been held without violating anyone’s rights. So, how against it could the ladies on the council have been? I am also not surprised that the council passed the proposal. Republicans are famous for wanting to guard your tax dollar from those evil, money-grubbing, unionized rank-and-file public employees, while happily giving it away to friends, neighbors (they call it outsourcing) and executive management through cronyism. So, now, the City of Tustin will have another double-dipping pensioner drawing $105,000 taxpayer dollars a year over and above her pension. Not bad for part-time work, if you can get it.
Good luck in retirement, Christine. I hope you will spend at least a little of that extra money in Tustin so the citizens who are being stuck with the bill will benefit from your relationship with… the entire council, apparently. Perhaps you could by a car over at Tustin Auto Center?
There was some good news when Jerry’s Kids gave a report on the status of the search for a new city manager. Councilmembers Nielsen and Murray reported that the initial pool of 64 applicants have been whittled down to a manageable 9 finalists. Final interviews of the candidates will be conducted beginning October 15th. This means we could have a new CM by the beginning of the new year, although I wouldn’t hold my breath. And, after the last fiasco, I do hope they take their time and find someone that Jerry can live with. Perhaps, the city staffers should put together a three day retreat with the councilmembers and the finalists attending. Jerry can weed out the ones who won’t succumb to his tyranical style, berate the rest until there is only one left, and make the losers walk home.
Of course, I have to wonder if our perennial double-dipper, Interim City Manager Bill Huston, will continue to be paid as a consultant of some kind. Maybe the city council can create a new position, Executive Kiss-up to the Council. Huston should be good at that.