The Oakley Interim City Manager’s selection process is inappropriate and unethical in my perception. Mayor Higgins and Vice Mayor Pope met with the current city manager Bryan Montgomery and the city attorney Derek Cole. The purpose of the meeting was to select an individual to be the Interim City Manager. The four would then take the name to the other council members for approval.

                I protested the procedure. Bryan Montgomery said that the Mayor and Vice Mayor were an ad hoc committee created to work with the city manager. I said I did not vote for them to be an ad hoc committee for the Interim City Manager selection, and indeed, I would not have voted for Vice Mayor Pope to be on the committee had I been asked. Montgomery said I had voted them to be the ad hoc members when I voted for mayor and vice mayor. I again protested the procedure.

                I discussed the matter with Cole. He said the city council, in 2008, had arranged the mayor and vice mayor to an ad hoc committee to work with the city manager. I asked for a copy of the resolution, which is attached to this posting. The resolution passed in November 2008. Cole said the resolution was limited to one year, but the city council continued to practice the procedure. (The city council members who remained on the dais following the November election, and city staff, are “having a tough time grasping” that City of Oakley residents do not want past practices to continue.)

                The resolution limits the mayor and vice mayor to negotiating Montgomery’s salary. The resolution does not allow the two to confer with Montgomery for any other purpose. In other words, their meeting for the Interim City Manager “was bogus.” The city council needs to disregard the four’s nomination and start over selecting an Interim City Manager, meeting together to do so.

                My fear is Higgins and Pope will interview the prospective candidates for the city manager position without the council in attendance.

                The procedure that now in place is dangerous and will negate the public’s input into the selection process. We do not want to end up like the City of Indio residents, cut out of the city manager selection process. City Council members need to be heard from you now, before the council meeting tomorrow evening.

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