The Seal Beach City Council will review the city manager’s performance at the agency’s next meeting, even though a majority of council members oppose the review. A council member requested the review as an agenda item under the council’s Rules of Conduct.
This would be the third job performance review of City Manager David Carmany since December 2009.
On Monday, May 11, during the Council Comments segment of the City Council meeting, District 2 Councilman Gary Miller asked
that a performance review of City Manager David Carmany be placed on the next council agenda.
District 3 Councilman Gordon Shanks said he saw no reason to have a performance review more than once a year. “So far, I see no justification,” Shanks said.
Miller said under the council’s rules of conduct, which he said had been ignored since the rules were approved, he could have an item placed on the agenda within two meetings.
City Attorney Quinn Barrow advised Mayor David Sloan to seek the consensus of the council.
Miller said this was the third time he had requested an item on the council agenda and the previous requests had been ignored. Miller said if the council did not respond, he would take action.
Mayor Sloan asked for a consensus.
Miller and District 1 Councilman Charles Antos raised their hands in favor of the review.
Then council members Shanks, Sloan and District 5 Councilman Michael Levitt raised their hands against the review.
Miller asked how the vote worked with the Rules of Conduct.
Barrow read the rule in question. The rules say a council member can request an agenda item within two meetings. Barrow said such requests are usually granted.
Miller asked if the vote was to have the performance review or not to have the performance review.
Sloan said the vote was to not have a performance review.
For a second time, Shanks, Sloan and Levitt raised their hands in opposition to the review.
“Does it require a vote?” Levitt asked.
Barrow reviewed the Rules of Conduct again. He stared at the page in silence for a while, before admitting he was in “a quandary.”
The remark triggered a few chuckles in the Council Chamber.
Shanks asked if this was a personnel matter.
City Attorney Barrow said the request was to have a performance review in closed session.
Sloan reluctantly agreed to put the performance review on the agenda to settle the question. “I’m with Councilman Shanks. We’ve beaten this to death and I think the city manager is doing a fantastic job,” Sloan said.
He said it was cruel to make someone go through the performance review over and over. He said nothing ever happens at the review, except another meeting.
Levitt suggested rewriting the Rules of Conduct so a council member’s request for an agenda item would require approval by a majority vote.
Carmany’s job performance was reviewed in December 2009. According to Shanks, Councilman Miller requested that review. In January 2010, Antos said the 2009 review was a regularly scheduled review.
Carmany’s job performance was reviewed again on Jan. 25, 2010, after his friendship with the architect on Fire Station 48 became public. The station is located near Leisure World on North Gate Road.
Carmany went to high school with the architect.
Between the December 2009 and January 2010 performance reviews, Miller accused Carmany of trying to isolate and silence him.
Miller has also criticized Carmany over the now-cancelled composting project at the Joint Forces Training Base, reimbursements for travel expenses and the possible loss of recreation facilities at McGaugh School. He has also accused Carmany of filing baseless complaints against him in retaliation for the December 2009 performance review.
The performance review will be held in closed session at 6 p.m., Monday, June 14. The agenda for the closed session has not yet been posted.