As we reported last night (thank you tipsters!), William Huston, the retired city manager for Tustin, was named interim city manager on a 3-1-1 vote with Mayor Jerry Amante’s Republican majority all voting in lockstep and council member Deborah Gavello voting no and council member Becky Gomez abstaining.
Huston gave an in-depth interview to the Voice of OC when he retired last fall; there’s a bit of Q&A regarding whether city managers are overpaid or not. But now that he’s double-dipping, that would be for Tustin taxpayers to decide.
Huston retired last fall.Â Huston is slated to get $165 an hour; for an 8 hour day, that’s $6,600 a week based on a 40 hour week.Â If he’s there a year, call it a 48 week year with vacation and holidays, the package is more than $300K annually.Â And he’ll still be able to draw on his pension while receiving an hourly rate, though according to Woolery, PERS has a cut off and Huston won’t exceed it.
Woolery believes Huston was approached about the job by Mayor Amante and is confirming that detail. It’s not clear if Amante sought the advice and counsel of other members of the Tustin city council. We’ll take a wild guess and say “no.”
Tustin taxpayers are still on the hook to pay outgoing City Manager David Biggs $187,500 in severance to do nothing.Â So all told, Tustin taxpayers are likely on the hook for about a half-million dollarsÂ when you factor in Huston’sÂ new pay with Bigg’s golden umbrella, all because Mayor Amante couldn’t work with a city manager who beat out 55 candidates and was hired on a 5-0 voteÂ about six months agoÂ – yeah, is that Jerry AmanteÂ a fiscal conservativeÂ or what!
This gem from the story in today’s OC Register:
“Mayor Jerry Amante, after the closed session meeting, stated that the relationship between the City Council and the city manager was unsatisfactory. Amante said that members of the City Council cannot make any other statement to members of the public, media or other employees regarding the termination of Biggs’ employment.”
Jerry’s statement should really read, “the relationship between the mayor and the city manager was unsatisfactory.” And if a member of the city council thought Biggs was a good city manager, as Council member Deborah Gavello did in her newsletter to residents, criticism of a decision by a council member of the council majority seems to be fair game.
I’m still waiting for an answer on why Tustin’s legal fees nearly tripled since 2005.