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The past year was a big one for resignations, promotions and elections of Sacramento city officials. Twelve personnel changes took place at City Hall involving elected and appointed leaders and city staffers in 2010.
A major change was in the city manager position, which was replete with drama and press conferences.
When former City Manager Ray Kerridge resigned in March, the city was wrestling with a host of issues. The Sacramento County Grand Jury had released a report in January saying the city may have broken state law Proposition 218. Utilities fees from ratepayers must correspond to the costs of delivering the utilities services, the law states.
At the same time, the city was dealing with a sticky situation over building permits that a staffer in the Community Development Department gave to a housing developer. The feds had barred the city from giving out permits in that area.
On top of that headache, more concerns with the development department had cropped up, such as claims that the department didn’t collect developer fees and even accusations of “potential quid pro quo,” according to a Jan. 26 report from the offices of the city manager and city attorney.
There were controversies surrounding Kerridge’s decision to resign. Mayor Kevin Johnson said a negative attitude among other council members in part caused Kerridge to pack his bags. Johnson held a press conference in which he described Kerridge as a “great talent.” Councilman Robbie Waters voiced support for Kerridge at Johnson’s press conference. Kerridge was also popular among businesspeople, who said he created a customer-service environment at the development department.
When Kerridge left Sacramento City Hall, he said he intended to take a job in the private sector. But he was picked up by Roseville in May to be its next city manager.
Shortly before Kerridge resigned, former development department director Bill Thomas resigned. Thomas and Kerridge had worked together in both the cities of Portland and Sacramento.
Responding to Kerridge’s resignation, the City Council promoted Gus Vina, who was an assistant city manager, to be interim city manager in March.
Max Fernandez, the former head of code enforcement for the city, was promoted to be the director of the development department in early July. With Vina and Fernandez in charge, the development department is undergoing a remodel to tighten its procedures.
The city auditor’s office faced a year of changes, as well. The City Council hired Jorge Oseguera to be the new city auditor in March, after that spot had been vacant for almost one year.
Oseguera hired deputy auditor Gerald Silva in March, but Silva resigned in July. Silva resigned after The Sacramento Press asked him to comment on a sexual harassment dispute that involved him when he served as the city auditor of San Jose.
It wasn’t just the city manager and development director positions that were in upheaval in 2010 – a big shake-up also occurred on the City Council.
Council incumbents Ray Tretheway and Robbie Waters both lost to newcomers in June, while Councilwoman Lauren Hammond didn’t run for reelection.
New councilwoman Angelique Ashby took Ray Tretheway’s District 1 seat in June, but two runoffs were required for the District 5 and District 7 seats. The runoffs featured newbies in both cases – the incumbents had already lost in June.
Darrell Fong won his District 7 runoff battle against candidate Ryan Chin, while Jay Schenirer beat opponent Patrick Kennedy in the November runoff for District 5.
Photos of Tretheway, Vina and Fernandez by Kathleen Haley. Photo of Kerridge by Anthony Bento. Photo of Ashby by Brandon Darnell.
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.