Council Votes Down Deputy City Manager

In a surprising move made by Councilman Dave Capra, the City Council voted 3-2 to eliminate the position of a deputy City Manager for the City of Temple City at the February 5, 2008 City Council meeting.

During discussion of the annual budget for the City of Temple City in May 2007, Councilman Capra suggested the City Council consider hiring a separate City Manager.

Currently, Charles Martin, in his 80s, serves as City Manager and City Attorney for Temple City.

One month later, Councilman Capra changed his mind and stated there was no need to hire a separate City Manager.

Then, in July 2007, Councilmember declared “the City needs to go on a [different direction]” and once again, supported either a deputy City Manager or a separate City Manager.

Because of the lack of support, a compromise was reached by the Council to hire a deputy City Manager on July 17, 2007.

Applications for a deputy City Manager were closed in December 2007.

On February 5, Councilman Capra informed fellow councilmembers that he no supported the hiring of a deputy City Manager. Capra reasons include the City Council not having the power to choose the deputy City Manager as stated in the City Charter.

Capra warned that a deputy City Manager could be hired that would make the Council unhappy. Furthermore, Capra noted the declining state of the economy and the need to conserve money for city improvement projects.

Councilman Ken Gillanders concurred with Councilman Capra, stating the current City Manager had everything under control and was a bargain for Temple City.

Councilwoman Cathé Wilson reminded the City could hire an interim City Manager if needed.

Councilman Fernando Vizcarra, who had opposed deferment of hiring a separate City Manager in June and compromised with colleagues to hire a deputy City Manager in July, argued for the need of a professional to energize staff with new ideas. Vizcarra cited the City’s lack of stores and the death of the Piazza at Temple City project.

In response to Councilman Vizcarra, Councilman Capra mentioned the City Council could entertain the position of a new City Manager during budget time. He stated he was in favor of an Economic Developer to bring in new businesses for Temple City.

Councilwoman Judy Wong, who had opposed hiring a separate City Manager, but was in favor of a deputy City Manager, noted the deputy City Manager would be on probation and therefore be let go.

Wong stated she preferred a deputy City Manager to train under current City Manager Martin and take over should Martin leave.

Resident Mary Burke pointed out to Council the City had reserves and it was important for Temple City to have a separate City Manager and City Attorney.

Councilman Capra’s motion passed 3-2, with Councilmembers Vizcarra and Wong casting the dissenting votes.

 

This article was written by Margaret Thi. It was published in the Temple City Voice on June 11, 2008.

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