Anaheim Relieves Its City Manager

The City Manager of Anaheim is out.

City leaders voted 5-2 to accept Chris Zapata’s resignation last week. The closed session item was placed on the agenda by Mayor Harry Sidhu. Councilmembers Denise Barnes and Jose Moreno voted no.

“Might you be willing to share with the public why you agendized to remove the city manager, given that he’s running this crisis so well?” Moreno asked the mayor during the meeting’s open portion, referencing the pandemic. The mayor refused to answer and Moreno pushed further.

“Why did you agendize for us to remove the city manager during this crisis?”

Mayor Sidhu said it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter in an open setting. He later said most of the Council wanted a change in direction.

One recent controversy could possibly provide context, per Voice of OC:

Zapata’s resignation comes after he raised concerns about a $6.5 million city contract with Visit Anaheim, the advertising bureau for the Disneyland-resort area, including the Convention Center.

 

Visit Anaheim is funded through the resort hotels’ self-imposed two-percent hotel tax.

Zapata told the Council that the city should start at a lower amount and put in a strict performance review of the contract. 

Whatever the cause, the decision to let Zapata go will come with a steep price—$475,000 according to the Orange County Register.


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