Stockwell

CALIFORNIA CITY — City Manager Robert Stockwell tendered his resignation and the City Council unanimously agreed to accept it during a closed session prior to Tuesday’s Council meeting.

The resignation was effective as of 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, City Attorney Christian

Bettenhausen said.

“The City Council wishes to thank Bob Stockwell for his years of service as city manager, not only here but in other cities, and wishes him success in his future endeavors,” Bettenhausen reported from the

closed session.

In addition, the Council unanimously agreed to appoint Anna Linn as interim city manager for three months. Linn, Stockwell’s executive assistant, has been serving as interim city manager since Stockwell was placed on paid administrative leave on April 29.

With the resignation, Stockwell will receive six months’ salary as severance pay, as well as cash for any earned leave, as stipulated in his contract,

Bettenhausen said.

A second city department head, Public Works Director Craig Platt, remains on paid administrative leave while investigation into unspecified issues continues. Platt was placed on leave on May 8.

Stockell was placed on leave following a special closed session of the Council, which included his performance evaluation.

“There were some issues raised that need to be looked into,” Bettenhausen said at the time. He did not elaborate on what those issues entailed.

The Council’s performance evaluation of Stockwell had been continued several times over three weeks, all held in closed session, as for all personnel matters.

Stockwell was hired by the city in November 2017, first on an interim basis through Municipal Solutions, a private firm that provides experienced professionals to local governments as a type of temp agency.

The city  originally agreed to a six-month contract, with an evaluation

after 90 days.

Stockwell said at the time he was interested in a long-term position in Cal City if he and the Council found they worked

well together.

The Council approved a three-year contract with Stockwell in March 2018. This is his

first annual review.

The contract has a provision for termination without cause that includes a severance package of six months’ salary, which is standard for a city manager’s contract, Bettenhausen said at

the time.

At the time, the Council raised concerns about the provisions for terminating the contract for cause, and added a provision as a cause for termination for “any willful violation of any federal, state or local law or any willful refusal to obey a lawful order of the City Council.” This is in addition to felony convictions, alcohol or drug abuse that materially affects performance and repeated or protracted unexcused absences from duties.

Stockwell has more than 30 years’ experience in city management, in cities larger and smaller than California City, he said.

Prior to coming to Cal City, he spent the last several years in the private sector, working for a small construction company, while consulting for municipalities.

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