The Anaheim City Council began its closed session meeting at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon to decide the fate of City Manager Paul Emery and appoint an interim city manager. They didn’t emerge until nearly 6:00 p.m. – long past the official 5:00 p.m. start time for the regular council meeting.
City Manager Paul Emery tendered a forced resignation which was accepted on a 4-3 vote. Mayor Tom Tait and Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno, Denise Barnes and James Vadnerbilt voting in favor, and C0uncilmembers Kris Murray, Lucille Kring and Steve Faessel opposed.
The council voted 4-3 to authorize offering Emery eight months of severance; under his contract, Emery was entitled to 6 months severance. Councilmembers Vanderbilt, Murray, Faessel and Kring voted in favor. Mayor Tait and Councilmembers Moreno and Barnes were opposed.
The city council named City Clerk Linda Andal as the interim city manager on a 7-0 vote. The extraordinary length of the closed session combined with the unanimous vote to appoint Andal (not known to harbor city manager ambitions) indicates it was a contentious session and that Ms. Andal is a compromise choice and a true interim. She has been an excellent city clerk and will presumably apply the same ethic of dedication and hard work to the interim position.
There was a great deal of focus on the possibility of giving appointing Anaheim Union High School District Superintendent Mike Matsuda as interim city manager. Matsuda is a committed leftist activist and a close political ally of Councilman Jose F. Moreno and Mayor Tom Tait. To the extent his candidacy was a serious possibility, the city has dodged a bullet.
The standard operating procedure is hiring a search firm and commencing the process of soliciting applications and conducting interviews.