San Bernardino and Salinas are unexpectedly searching for new city managers thanks to a personnel debacle linking both cities.
On Sept. 29, the City of San Bernardino regretfully announced that its finalist for the city manager position had backed out of the job. San Bernardino didn’t name the candidate publicly, but he was identified by the Monterey County Weekly as Salinas City Manager Steve Carrigan.
According to the Weekly, Carrigan sent an email to his staff on Sept. 28 informing them of his change of heart.
“Over the past few weeks, I have had time to think about what’s important to me from a personal and a professional standpoint and I have decided that Salinas is the best place for me,” he wrote. “I cannot see myself working anywhere else.”
As it turns out, Carrigan won’t have much of a choice. Four days after that letter, he was fired in a unanimous vote by the Salinas City Council.
No reason was given for Carrigan’s termination. Was Salinas acting like a lover scorned?
Assistant City Manager Jim Pia is now serving as Acting City Manager of Salinas. Meanwhile, San Bernardino is still in a bind. The city has been without a permanent manager for almost a year. The interim administrator, retired city manager Charles McNeely, is prevented from working much longer full-time since he’s drawing a CalPERS pension.
It's not known whether Carrigan would still be interested in the San Bernardino job. It’s also unclear if San Bernardino would be willing to take him back. Carrigan was one of 70 applicants for the position, so there’s still a pool of other candidates to consider.
Let's hope this works out well for everyone.
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