TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL TRIES TO EXPLAIN THE EXPLANATION OF CITY MANAGER FIRING

TWENTYNINE PALMS CITY COUNCIL TRIES TO EXPLAIN THE EXPLANATION OF CITY MANAGER FIRING

Members of the Twentynine Palms City Council devoted a portion of their regular meeting to explaining why they weren’t explaining their decision to fire City Manager Joe Guzzetta, and to hinting at what they wouldn’t explain. Reporter Dan Stork draws the lines for you to read between…
At the beginning of their regular meeting, individual members of the Twentynine Palms City Council emphasized that they had high personal regard for Joe Guzzetta, with Jay Corbin describing the fired City Manager as one of the finest people he’s known in government. Recurrent points in the Council members’ comments were that: personnel issues cannot be discussed openly; they are sorry about public reaction to their unanimous decision; and they acted in the best interests of the City. Mayor Dan Mintz described at some length a City staff meeting he attended over the weekend. He listed many city projects that are moving forward vigorously. Mintz emphasized the many years of service of several employees, and how many of them live locally. He also stressed the importance of communication between staff and the Council, and said that problems happened when this broke down. Council member Jim Harris repeated his remark from last week, to the effect that the public should have been able to deduce from agendas that issues concerning Guzzetta’s performance have been brewing for many months. He said that he had discussed with the City attorney how much he could share with the public, and would be willing to say something. Following the meeting, we took him up on the offer. Harris focused on one issue: “The morale was in a horrible direction…I think our staff at this point are very happy that we’re moving in a new direction; that’s what we called it.”

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