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"Staffing Discussion Should Be Public"
Letter to the Editor, Hi-Desert Star / Desert Trail, April 11, 2020
Did you know that in 2015 the 29 Palms City Council combined the positions of City Manager and Finance Director into one position - City Manager? Neither did we! That's because it was decided behind closed doors when Frank Luckino was hired. Combining these positions undermines checks and balances within our City government. Note: these positions are not combined in Yucca Valley.
The Brown Act allows closed sessions for employment issues such as the negotiations for the hiring of Luckino as City Manager in 2015. But why wasn’t the decision to combine two critical City positions a separate PUBLIC discussion?
We sent this inquiry to City Attorney Patrick Munoz. His two sentence reply: ”The City has complied with all relevant laws. Thank you for your inquiry.”
Since the City Attorney isn’t interested in casting daylight on this topic, perhaps it’s time to ask Council Members Klink, Mintz and Wright since they were all in office when this decision was made. We’ve forwarded the City Attorney’s reply to Mayor O’Gilvie requesting that the combining of these positions be revisited at an upcoming Council meeting.