Letters to the Editor: Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

 

Editor’s Note: The letter below was sent to the Catalina Islander by the mayor of Avalon concerning the recent firing of the city manager. Below that letter appears another letter that expresses an opposing viewpoint.

Dear residents of Avalon

The action of the City Council to terminate the city manager on November 17th was a shock to the community.

The decision to terminate did not come easy however,when such a decision is made, the process is swift.

Editor’s Note: The letter below was sent to the Catalina Islander by the mayor of Avalon concerning the recent firing of the city manager. Below that letter appears another letter that expresses an opposing viewpoint.

Dear residents of Avalon

The action of the City Council to terminate the city manager on November 17th was a shock to the community.

The decision to terminate did not come easy however,when such a decision is made, the process is swift.

I know there are concerns that projects once overseen by the city manger will cease. This is far from true.

Denise Radde, the chief administrative officer of the city, has accepted the title and responsibilities of the interim city manager.

We are thankful we have such a dedicated, intelligent and experienced person to maintain government functions. We are working diligently to recruit a city manager, one able and willing to live in our beautiful community fulltime.

Projects currently underway which will continue to move forward are: The Vons Project, Casino Dock rebuild, Cease and Desist Order dictates, planning for the Mole, Fitness Trail, e-buses, skate park, employee negotiations, to name a few.

Our city has experienced and dedicated department heads and personnel of which we are sooo fortunate. Most department heads and staff have worked through the replacement of city managers in the past. One employee shared he has worked under 11 different managers. At no time did the city come to a screeching halt. I am confident our employees will once again rally and they already have, to keep the city moving forward.

During this time of transition I know that communication is key. Rumors come and go but truths are what you want. I am accessible by phone, 310-339-2935 or email; amarshall@cityofavalon.com.

Anni Marshall

Avalon Mayor

 

Bite the Hand

As reported, Avalon City Manager Ben Harvey was fired by Annie Marshall, Joe Sampson and Richard Hernandez in a closed-session vote.  Although it is fully legal and within their rights to fire Ben without cause, their actions will cost the City of Avalon hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance, search and hire costs.

But that is not the biggest issue at stake here.

Avalon is a uniquely complex city.  Our small population is funded by tourism dollars, but that revenue base is not enough to support the needs of our community for housing, transportation, childcare, medical and support services, Fire, Police, etc.  We need outside financial assistance.

The Honorable Don Knabe, Supervisor 4th District of Los Angeles County is our overtown champion.  He recently sent $500,000 to fund a second desalination plant to Avalon.  Prior to the closed session, he sent a letter to the City Council in support of Ben Harvey’s professionalism and persistence in keeping Avalon on the radar. In spite of this, Marshall, Hernandez and Sampson voted to fire Ben.  I was copied on Supervisor Knabe’s email to Ben after his firing: “Ben—you are a class act! What an incredible mistake they have made! Please let me know how I can assist you in your transition! Don”

I agree, firing Ben was “an incredible mistake” and it will affect us all.

The greater good was not served in this decision, and contrary to the Mayor’s assurances, we will not enjoy ‘business as usual’ any time soon.  We are currently adrift.  Just watch the Special Council Meeting of today (Nov. 24th) on Livestream at http://livestre.am/5fpC7.

Marshall and Hernandez are up for re-election.  This block of three votes can dominate the decision-making process without any recourse.  It is frightening to think what they might vote to do next, or who they might appoint…a new City Attorney?  We should all be on high alert.

John King

Avalon Resident and Business owner

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here