The opportunity to correct the executive “overreach” of former City Manager Frank Oviedo is now within the grasp of the Wildomar City Council. Unfortunately, according to an article posted by Californian reporter Michael J. Williams, it appears that the newest member of the Council, Mayor Ben Benoit, appears to be unaware of that opportunity.
Please click on the following link to the Californian article for confirmation:
As previously stated in a recent Wildomar Magazine article, we applauded the hiring of Gary Nordquist as City Manager to replace Oviedo but have always been on record for recommending the elimination of the duplication of city executives, going so far as to recommend the elimination of Oviedo’s position to save $250,000 per year for re-allocation in Wildomar’s limited budget, as an economic “bridge” for parks until Measure Z funding is received, for example.
In response, knowing that there was no money for a raise, Oviedo sought and received, a three-month extension to his severance package on the City Council as a “poison pill,” should that “unthinkable” outcome become a reality. Fortunately for Wildomar, Oviedo’s voluntary resignation spared our city significant expense.
Gary Nordquist was originally hired to be Director of Finance, for which he is well-qualified and highly respected among his peers. Subsequent to his hiring, he was designated as “assistant city manager” by Oviedo, to represent the city, should an emergency arise while Oviedo was away from Wildomar, as it turns out, a not infrequent situation.
At no time, subsequent to our incorporation as a city in 2008, has the Wildomar City Council considered, deliberated or implemented through a formal vote, the hiring of any individual, including Gary Nordquist, to fill the non-existent position of Assistant City Manager.
Now that Oviedo is gone (as of December 31, 2012), and Nordquist has been formally hired as our City Manager, the Wildomar City Council has no choice but to “keep the Assistant City Manager’s position vacant,” since it doesn’t formally “exist.”
In the event that Nordquist identifies some executive deficit requiring additional staffing, he must make his case, with supporting documentation, to the Wildomar City Council, where it can be considered and deliberated upon in a properly-agendized Public Hearing. (Editor’s note: the City of Lake Elsinore operates with one city executive, although it is larger than Wildomar.)
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