Curious things are happening in Rohnert Park, making one wonder whether there’s maneuvering afoot to get former City Manger Carl Leivo, an outspoken critic of the City Council at one time, back in his old position.

 

At last week’s meeting, Mayor Amie Breeze, who originally supported the idea of hiring a headhunter to conduct a broad search for a new city manger, suddenly reversed course. She wanted the search to be done by the council members themselves with a more local focus. In a memo to colleagues, she said in addition to saving the $20,000 to $30,000 cost of a consultant “the City Council and the community will retain greater control over the recruitment process.” For example, she wanted the city to create a brochure and have an ad posted on the city’s Web site.

 

Councilmember Joe Callinan joined her in opposing a nationwide search. But here’s the odd thing. When their position did not prevail among their colleagues at the Oct. 13 meeting, both the mayor and Callinan refused to participate any further in the selection of an executive search firm. They essentially have left it to their City Council colleagues, Gina Belforte, Jake Mackenzie and Pam Stafford, to pick the finalists to be interviewed for the search job.

 

One might expect to see that kind of reaction on a playground. But at a City Council meeting?

 

The speculation is that Breeze and Callinan are hoping to bring Carl Leivo back in as city manager, succeeding the much-respected Steve Donley who recently resigned to stay in the U.S. Coast Guard. Hence, the emphasis on a local search.

Leivo, who became city manager in 2003, was ousted in March of 2005, about three months after a new City Council majority took office. He signed a $250,000 separation agreement but continued to attend City Council meetings, sometimes chiding his formal bosses publicly. One time he called them “imperious know-it-alls.”

Is this the kind of divisiveness that the city of Rohnert Park wants to bring back?

 

In any event, it doesn’t appear the votes are there to go that route anyway. But it will be interesting to see what Breeze and Callinan decide to do at the next City Council meeting on Oct. 26. Will they vote on picking an executive search firm – or will they sit it out again because they didn’t get their way?

– Paul Gullixson

Are efforts under way to bring back Carl Leivo?

 

Curious things are happening in Rohnert Park, making one wonder whether there’s maneuvering afoot to get former City Manger Carl Leivo, an outspoken critic of the City Council at one time, back in his old position.

 

At last week’s meeting, Mayor Amie Breeze, who originally supported the idea of hiring a headhunter to conduct a broad search for a new city manger, suddenly reversed course. She wanted the search to be done by the council members themselves with a more local focus. In a memo to colleagues, she said in addition to saving the $20,000 to $30,000 cost of a consultant “the City Council and the community will retain greater control over the recruitment process.” For example, she wanted the city to create a brochure and have an ad posted on the city’s Web site.

 

Councilmember Joe Callinan joined her in opposing a nationwide search. But here’s the odd thing. When their position did not prevail among their colleagues at the Oct. 13 meeting, both the mayor and Callinan refused to participate any further in the selection of an executive search firm. They essentially have left it to their City Council colleagues, Gina Belforte, Jake Mackenzie and Pam Stafford, to pick the finalists to be interviewed for the search job.

 

One might expect to see that kind of reaction on a playground. But at a City Council meeting?

 

The speculation is that Breeze and Callinan are hoping to bring Carl Leivo back in as city manager, succeeding the much-respected Steve Donley who recently resigned to stay in the U.S. Coast Guard. Hence, the emphasis on a local search.

Leivo, who became city manager in 2003, was ousted in March of 2005, about three months after a new City Council majority took office. He signed a $250,000 separation agreement but continued to attend City Council meetings, sometimes chiding his formal bosses publicly. One time he called them “imperious know-it-alls.”

Is this the kind of divisiveness that the city of Rohnert Park wants to bring back?

 

In any event, it doesn’t appear the votes are there to go that route anyway. But it will be interesting to see what Breeze and Callinan decide to do at the next City Council meeting on Oct. 26. Will they vote on picking an executive search firm – or will they sit it out again because they didn’t get their way?

– Paul Gullixson