Carmel’s Embattled City Administrator Calls it Quits

Controversy over the job performance of Carmel City Administrator Jason Stilwell came to a head Wednesday when the embattled official resigned from his post. Stilwell says the decision was one of “mutual agreement” between he and the city council, but it comes on the heels of various complaints over a lack of transparency under his leadership.

Stilwell was hired as city administrator in 2011 after eight years with Santa Barbara County. During his time with the city, numerous employees were either fired or placed on leave, with two of them later filing lawsuits against the city. Stilwell was also criticized for alleged mismanagement of finances, issues surrounding city contracts, and an overall lack of openness. These concerns prompted a recent citizens’ petition for his removal.

“I think the council is on the right track to investigating those allegations,” Stilwell said, adding that he expects to be vindicated in the end.

Throughout the ordeal, Carmel’s mayor and city council stood by Stilwell. But, on Wednesday, they accepted his decision to resign.

"Our council has agreed to accept the resignation of Jason Stilwell as our city administrator," Carmel Mayor Jason Burnett said, reading from a statement. "This decision that Jason Stilwell and our council arrived at together as the best means to move the city forward and to allow Jason Stilwell to take on a new challenge.”

Former Carmel City Administrator Doug Schmitz has been appointed to the position on an interim basis. Stilwell will stay on for the time being to assist with the transition.

Read more about Stilwell’s resignation here