Sunday, April 17, 2005

Thousand Oaks Mayor seeks Gatch investigation

Flap previously reported that long time City of Thousand Oaks City Planning Director and later City Manager Phil Gatch had resigned his position and was going to retire.

Today's Ventura County Star has this story on an investigation that Thousand Oaks City Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pena wishes to launch regarding his resignation:

Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pena is calling for an investigation into possible violations of city and state laws after alleging the city manager has been pressured to resign.

Bill-de la Pena is calling for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the possible resignation of City Manager Phil Gatch. He has turned in a letter of resignation, but the City Council has not accepted it.

The potential breaches include a violation of a rule that requires the city manager to take direction from the council as a whole as opposed to individual council members, according to a city staff report. The mayor also is recommending that an investigation look into possible violations of an open meeting law that prohibits, with certain exceptions, a majority of a legislative body from meeting in private.

"The investigation is necessary in order to avoid any further ethics controversies or similar problems that may harm the reputation of our city," Bill-de la Pena said.

She wants an outside attorney to handle the investigation.

The Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday is also scheduled to consider in a closed meeting the appointment of an interim city manager......

....Gatch informed the mayor he was being pressured to resign by Fox after a meeting with Fox on March 23, Bill-de la Pena said this week. She said she believed Fox wanted to hire a city manager he could have more control over. Gatch told her Fox implied he had the required three votes to fire him, she said.

Phil has to much class to leave the city with this political crap. Granted he probably did not have or lost the majority support of the newly elected (November 2004) City Council. But, why is the Mayor trashing Phil's reputation with petty machinations? The ultimate result will not change.

Gatch is 64 years old and has had a wonderful career. He should be allowed to leave gracefully.


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