Dupuis leaves post as Laguna Beach City Manager

Shohreh Dupuis has agreed to retire from her position as Laguna Beach’s City Manager effective Sept. 1. Photo/City of Laguna Beach

Shohreh Dupuis will officially retire from her position as Laguna Beach’s City Manager on Sept. 1. City attorney Phil Kohn announced the decision after the city council met in a closed session on Thursday morning, Aug. 24. 

Dupuis, who has held the role of city manager since June 2021, is on paid leave until Sept. 1. 

Dupuis’ decision comes from a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement negotiated in response to a hostile workplace claim filed by Dupuis following a period of conflict with a city councilmember, a city press release stated. The agreement allows the city to settle the claims without “costly and time-consuming litigation and represents responsible stewardship of public funds.” 

“This agreement represents the best path forward as we address the many issues facing our community,” Mayor Bob Whalen stated in the release. “By following this course of action, we limit the potential legal and financial exposure to the city and can move forward with finding a new city manager and prioritizing the public’s business.” 

Under the terms of an agreement between Dupuis and the city council, Laguna Beach will pay Dupuis nine months of severance pay and $223,077 in settlement of all claims against the city. She’ll keep her city health insurance for nine months and will receive compensation for legal costs up to $10,000.

Laguna’s Assistant City Manager Gavin Curran will act as city manager while the city searches for Dupuis’ permanent replacement. 

Whalen said Dupuis made noteworthy contributions to the city during her tenure. 

“Shohreh played a key role for our city during the COVID-19 pandemic and has helped deliver on wildfire safety, transportation and mobility programs, key property acquisitions and other important city council priorities,” Whalen said. “We appreciate her dedication through some very challenging times and wish her well as she enters the next phase of her life.” 

As city manager, Dupuis supervised all city departments and more than 346 full-time employees, 250 seasonal employees and a $100 million annual city budget, according to the city website. 

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  1. This “mutually agreed upon separation agreement” is truly great news for the residents of Laguna Beach. The state of the city is much improved with the parting of the very controversial CM. The City can now move forward in a positive and transparent manner in its future dealings with the residents of our town. Congratulations to the CC for recognizing the need for change and acting appropriately in making this decision.

    It is unfortunate that the CC agreed to pay 9 months in severance pay and an additional sum of: $ 223,077.00 to Ms. Dupuis, not to mention an additional 9 months of Insurance and $ 10,000.00 in compensation for “Legal Costs”. Ms. Dupuis tenure as CM was controversial to say the least and IMO a “Total Disaster” for the city of Laguna Beach in general.

    Having said that, it may be a small price to pay to begin the process of finding a CM that has the interests of the residents as their primary concern going forward.

    I wish the interim CM, Gavin Curran good luck in his new role.

  2. This is great news for Laguna Beach Residents. At council meetings Shoreh Dupuis was visibly bored by residents comments and requests, oftentimes more interested in her phone than any neighborhood conversation. She looked the other way when unpermitted work was being done to the Hotel Laguna, she ignored city councilman, Peter Blake belittling, name calling and publicly embarrassing residents with valid concerns and questions. She attempted to quiet concerns and questions by attempting to be a “victim” while calling out residents as “bullies”. So much derision, turmoil and tax dollars spent on defending her scornful behavior.
    We have a new city attorney! Now neighbors- it’s time to work on term limits! 15 years of Bob and Sue passing the Mayor position back and forth brought us this expensive embarrassment of leadership.

  3. It’s a huge disservice by Ms. Dupuis and the Indy to cite a hostile work environment claim against one City Council member as the cause for her demise.

    There has been a large contingent of the community which has been highly critical of her performance – including the four women she attacked by name at a city council meeting, accusing them too of creating a hostile work environment.

    Poor performance engenders criticism. Indeed, as a City Manager, criticism comes with the territory.

    A Nextdoor thread entitled “Should The City Manager Be Retained?” drew over 10,000 visits – so pointing the finger at one City Council member misses the mark by a country mile. Indeed, numerous letters in the Indy have been critical of her many decisions and actions – from the purchase of the Ti Amo non-fire station to the handling of the Hotel Laguna invasion to the refusal to release her traffic stop body cam footage and the resulting legal bills – the list unfortunately goes on and on.

    The City Manager’s filing of an unproven, most-probably false complaint could be seen as a smear tactic on her way out the door – a way of trying to save a little face, wrangle as much cash out of the severance deal as possible and smear the one City Council member who questioned her actions and her repeated lack of transparency.

    The unproven complaint and accusation could also be construed as a cover-up for Bob Whalen, Sue Kempf and Peter Blake and their dogged push to appoint Ms. Dupuis in the first place, knowing she was not fully well-qualified, but would do their pro-development, pro-business, pro-tourism bidding. Similarly, certain members of the City Council could feel they would politically benefit from smearing an opposition Council member.

    I too wish interim CM, Gavin Curran, good luck in his new role, and hope that the future of Laguna’s governance is less contentious, more experienced and far more resident-oriented.

  4. Your parents obviously missed the child-rearing lesson of if you cannot be kind be quiet.
    Laguna Beach City Council’s peanut gallery has a lot to answer for – how do you attract good people to work on our behalf when there’s a vociferous minority who tell everyone how to do everything, but are incapable of doing anything themselves.

  5. Dear Claude, you captured the feelings and thoughts of the majority of voters in my opinion.

    I for one am so thankful for Council member Weiss’s courage in supporting voters deep concerns in Dupuis’s behavior and performance on the job. And appreciation to the work Michele Monda put in to get to fact based evidence behind the traffic stop and body cam incident. I am still very disappointed that our mayor did not see that the PC violation of lying to a police officer was investigates, and that the altering of video evidence was never investigated. Our work as voters is not done.

    I am also of the opinion that our city leadership is willing to allow our view and property equity be stolen from us without representation, or support for our sweat equity, city preservation and our dreams. Many have lived her over 5 decades and what we own will be de valued because leadership is completely unwilling to have our backs. 2024 and 2026 are voting years. Make this right, or leave the Council.

    Tony Fisch represents MOM LLC public relations – Ed.

  6. Mr Morgan is part of a small group of relentless critics who have finally succeeded in hounding the city manager from office. They had ample help from Councilman George Weiss whose contempt for Ms Dupuis was palpable and might well have given Ms Dupuis ample grounds for a hostile work environment lawsuit. Taxpayers should be grateful she has taken this option off the table — a parting gift to a town where her accomplishments were significant and will serve the community long after she has gone. The haters have won one. But the rest of us have lost a highly capable public servant.

  7. I am dismayed that the City Council chose to use a bogus claim against one CC member as the reason for the “mutual separation” with the City Manager. Dupuis leveled the exact same claims against me and 3 other women with no proof, no facts – she just stated it in an open meeting calling us by name and using her authority from the dias. Repeatedly she refused to give proof or an apology. As far as I know, just like we four women, the Councilman was never given the opportunity to see the proof against him. But if this is the price of getting an incompetent, dictatorial and error prone CM out of our town I’m not only willing to pay the money but am hoping that George Weiss is willing to be the town hero on the trumped up charges. In the long run defending all her errors and lawsuits against her would have cost us more money than her payday to “retire”. Thank you City Council for doing the right thing for our town even if your reason is questionable.

  8. Thank you Ms. Dupuis for your service to the city of Laguna Beach during your tenure as City Manager.
    The small number of members of this community who stood up meeting after meeting to bash her was a disservice to everyone especially the City Manager. Our Council has big issues in front of them and as Councilmember Alex Rounaghi pointed out in the early August Council meeting, these small issues take time otherwise spent handling critical issues, and tax payer money to chase down.
    One of the hallmarks of a hostile work environment is that “the conduct is severe enough that the environment becomes intimidating, offensive or abusive”.
    I would describe all of those things in the public comments I saw lobbed at Ms.Dupuis in the Council meetings I attended. Who was behind initiating those residents to speak so harshly and personally? “Dupuis decision comes from a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement negotiated in response to a hostile workplace claim filed by Dupuis following a period of conflict with a city Councilmember” a city press release stated. George Weiss, after a long public display of derogation toward Ms. Dupuis (in my opinion) has been named as that Councilmember, according to the Daily Pilot August 24, 2023, (and documented in Stu News Laguna).
    The Pilot article goes further to describe the closed session meeting, Weiss did not participate due to potential conflict of interest, at which time Mayor Whalen was authorized to sign a separation agreement and general release … with a 4-0 decision from participating Council members.
    To all those posting here who blame the victim, that too is a hallmark of harassment.
    I admire our 4 Council members Whalen, Kempf, Rounaghi and Orgill who day after day strive to make this community a wonderful place to live, work and visit. From wildfire safety to expanding recreational opportunities we live in a extraordinary community due to their efforts.
    If our council meeting public comments continue to descend into grievance nonsense, misinformation and criticism we will only attract candidates who lack fitness to run for these important offices.
    Here’s an idea for all the complainers and nitpickers — become a part of the solution in LB. Volunteer for the Laguna Food Pantry, Marine Mammal Center, Library, Assistance League Thrift Shop, beach clean up. Join a neighborhood group to share ideas on safety. Submit an application to join one of the many City Committees, advising our Council and Staff.
    Thank you again, Ms. Dupuis, I wish you the best. And, thank you to the Councilmembers and volunteers in this community who work in many positive ways to make it an amazing place to call home.

  9. Let me be a counter voice to this cabal of complainers:

    Claude: “Congratulations to the CC for recognizing the need for change and acting appropriately in making this decision?” Excuse me? Acting appropriately? They wanted her to stay. All they did was negotiate a settlement with a city employee who was going to sue them over the harassment by Councilman George Weiss. So the additional costs being borne by taxpayers to settle with Ms. Dupuis lands squarely on the shoulders of Weiss and his merry minority of supplicants, who cast Shohreh as anti-resident and the Anti-Christ. An unprovable canard if I’ve ever seen one. Remember, she doesn’t set policy. She just implements it.

    Nancy: Looking bored by resident comments is grounds for dismissal? How could she possibly look entertained? She’s not an actress. Reprimanding Peter Blake was not her job. You cannot point to one material breach of her job responsibilities, which she accomplished with grace and aplomb. She hired a great team and they loved working for her. Job turnover began under her predecessor’s reign, and continued with Covid. It’s in line with averages everywhere else. And the leadership she picked – Jeff Calvert as Police Chief and Nico King as Fire Chief – are first rate. Why don’t you ask them about Shohreh’s management abilities?

    Now we have to waste time finding and hiring a new city manager, and they have to get up to speed with what Shohreh was working on: under-grounding the power lanes, making Laguna more multi-modal, implementing fire safety measures. And negotiating with County, state and federal officials, not to mention Coastal Commission, CEQA, CalTran, and other bureaucracies. The stuff that Shohreh does so well and is hidden from public view. This all takes time and experience, so the loss to the community is way more than money! It’s time, momentum, and expertise that comes from knowing how the system works.

    And we just narrowed the applicant pool because, really, who would want to work in such a toxic environment with so many snipers harvesting conspiracies and nothing burgers?

    Jerome: Please cite examples of poor performance in her role as City Manager? Be specific as to her responsibilities, and not about how she defended herself against meritless attacks – which was certainly NOT by “a large contingent of the community.” Please resist using that cesspool of disinformation NextDoor as your research source. It’s Swiss cheese. And the notion that any other City Manager would not “do the bidding” of Council majority shows a naïveté of how government works. Don’t like the policy? Vote them out. Oh that’s right, you can’t and you didn’t.

    Tony: What in the world are you talking about when you assert your “property equity be stolen from us without representation?” Those are serious charges. How does a City Manager do that? As a paid PR flak for MOM, you are representing them as well. So maybe consult a lawyer before answering.

    Chris: First, thank you for being the perpetual voice of reason and dissent here. You take a lot of barbs but keep pushing back with those rare commodities known as truth and common sense.

    You can be sure the haters will be back next week. They can’t get the council members they want, so they resort to scapegoating and harassing our wonderful, competent and popular City Manager over a traffic ticket.

    And by the way, when you really analyze things, Shohreh won. She’s laughing all the way to her pension. And taking early retirement. And she never has to hear from the Angry Cabal of Complainers again!

    Michele: I have never seen you any other way but dismayed. Is there another side that we are missing?

  10. For those of you who thought removing Peter Blake from council would bring civility back to city hall got it all wrong! Peter had his own political style but he never caused a top tier city employee to be driven out of office. Hostility and vitriol abound not only from the right side of the dais, (as we face it), but also from those who wake up daily full of hate and disdain for anyone they deem, “not one of their own”. A certain council member just cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, (could have been millions had this hostel environment case been litigated). The council member spouts on and on about austerity never looking in the mirror at what he just cost the city’s residents. Shame on all you thin skinned individuals who ran an exceptional person out of town. You have created a toxic environment where no qualified person in their right mind would ever want to work. You are agents of chaos who bring zero positive attributes to our community. Shohreh, you will be missed!

  11. Observations from these replies:

    Mr. Morgan, the sums paid to Ms. Dupuis is a savings from the lawsuit avoided. Mr. Weiss claims of not harassing her are unfounded. He criticized her almost weekly in his emails to residents.

    Nancee, a city manager can’t control a council member. They report to council members. No one was been able to keep Mr. Weiss in line either. I do not call bullying standing up to a few folks with bad intentions who speak falsely and disparagingly about you.

    Jerome, 10,000 visits on next door? There are only about 20,000 people living in the city. Wow, the 12 of you must have been really busy clicking.

    Mr. Fitch, thanks for verifying you work for this outside developer. I find it strange that you have found a group of friends that are anti-development but have seemed to find commonality with you and your group. The city manager is Not elected by voters, so I have not seen any information that shows that they wanted her gone. In fact, the outcome of the last election shows the opposite. Your group was soundly defeated while the council majority and people that got along with the city manager won.

    Lastly, I’m going to post something that came from one of these vocal folks above who sent this to me in a text message after they were upset with my work against Measure Q. I hope they also take it to heart.

    “For whatever a man sows, this he shall also reap- Galatians 6-7”

    It is my prediction that this will not solve the divisiveness in the community, but instead the vocal few will find new a new target in local government to bully.

  12. Please note, that my wife and I have been homeowners in Laguna Beach since 2012 and full time residents and voters since 2018. I have been in the public relations and strategic communications business for nearly 30 years and have worked for over 100 companies from early venture startups to Fortune 30 companies. As a resident and voter here my statements on this article and many articles and letters are mine and mine alone. They do not represent MOM Laguna, or any other client.

    It is my opinion that as residents we have much work ahead to assure this city’s legacy and its preservation. To assure our property rights, equity and safety. To assure our views and freedom of expression. Those that choose public service as a career should serve the best interest of voters, or do something else.

  13. This employee separation shouldn’t be a surprise. With the increasing number of claims and lawsuits racking up under this city manager and the pressure on Council members to address it and other internal and external staffing and professional issues – it was time to cut our losses.

    Personally though, I’m taking the City narrative offered here with a grain of salt.

    I’ve worked in city government and witnessed how magical the words “hostile work environment” can be for employees consistently caught in turmoil and facing high levels of scrutiny that might impact their job and thus their income/retirement. The fact is, this CM first accused four LB residents of the same thing (me included) without any proof whatsoever and that didn’t work. So just repeat it and accuse a boss/public figure and bingo, true or not, it worked. It’s really not that uncommon.

    Hopefully now residents can look forward to an unbiased CM recruitment process. Laguna Beach stakeholders deserve that and the hiring of a qualified and top-notch city manager this time around. Until then, best of luck to interim CM Gavin Curran.

  14. A reasonable question to ask is why didn’t she hire an attorney who specializes in workplace issues, not rely upon our CA to in essence be her advocate?
    It’s actually wiser and more prudent for all parties to be independently represented—this helps avoid subsequent finger pointing and disputes, hindsight.
    Didn’t see one mentioned, many times they act as the client spokespersons for media after negotiated settlements.
    Open up an online directory, there’s a plethora of employment law attorneys near here.
    Could the Indy please investigate that missing piece of the “retirement” puzzle agreement? ‘Cause in my opinion, she didn’t get all that much in comparison to others I’ve witnessed. More to the picture than meets the eye?
    I’ve worked for, with & closely around public agencies these past 13 years, and 6 months ago saw the female GM of one local high profile entity literally shown the door.
    She helped convene the hearing that day, the Board of Directors went into closed session with her carrying her purse in hand, her own attorney in tow, behind closed doors they offered a ton of taxpayer $$$ (obviously NOT their personal funds, oh no, can’t have that), and she never came back into the hearing room.
    Haven’t seen hide nor hair of her since. Not a peep from staff, but then they all moved up the $$$ food chain, so they won’t complain.
    It came out eventually that she was given a pretty hefty parachute (much larger than our CM, I might add, although being paid at a similar salary) to just put down her office phone and leave quietly, without rancor.
    A critical missing piece is representation: Let’s face it, anyone here who tries to imply that she didn’t bring in counsel out of compassionate tenderness for Laguna is avoiding the brutal reality of public official’s careers: They come & they go, usually a function of Council or Board discretion, goals and agendas being fluid….lots of change == New staff leadership, turnover.
    These people KNOW what they signed up for, they’re traveling mercenaries, they can’t possibly be naive enough to believe that being an appointed official is guaranteed lifetime employment, cradle to grave?
    Regardless, my chosen, beloved home town of 52 years, the place I came through as a baby, then young boy, then surfer beginning in 1946, the funky quintessential beach town, the place I always wanted to live in before sinking my roots, seems irrevocably fractured.
    Tattered and torn, like Humpty-Dumpty, never to be united, to be whole and functional again.
    This is what urban jungles become: Bitter, bickering places one can tolerate, at best like, but not love.
    How sad, an iconic place really, one only had to utter “Laguna,” no need to say “Beach,” everyone in So Cal KNEW what/where you were speaking about.
    We WERE also a human, not just animal sanctuary, a place of naturally featured respite, calming, congenial, intrinsically invaluable.
    Soon we’ll just be multi-storied parking structures and monetizing, modernizing strangers, an alien commodified land. Gimmicks seem to sell, but traditions? Apparently not.
    Property values thru the roof at the expense of basic core values that were embraced, now discarded. Everyone was basically equal at our true town square: The beach. Mellow, really kool mellow, few affectations, they were discouraged and social status leveled, especially once you paddled out.
    No mas aloha, just endless churning turmoil, no longer a unique town, just internecine warfare like that exhibited in urban cities.
    This incident won’t be isolated, there’ll be more upheaval, chaos, spineless indecision from popularity-contest-winning officials, that BS from high school you thought you’d grown out of.
    Weak leadership helps foment these nightmares…doubt we’ll awaken from this one soon, it’s at minimum acutely toxic, whether it morphs into chronic is anyone’s guess.
    Sic transit gloria mundi Laguna.
    Just what we as a place and we as a nation could really do without right now: Uncertainty.

  15. For those of you who thought removing Peter Blake from council would bring civility back to city hall got it all wrong! Peter had his own political style but he never caused a top tier city employee to be driven out of office. Hostility and vitriol abound not only from the right side of the dais, (as we face it), but also from those who wake up daily full of hate and disdain for anyone they deem, “not one of their own”. A certain council member just cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, (could have been millions had this hostile environment case been litigated). The council member spouts on and on about austerity never looking in the mirror at what he just cost the city’s residents. Shame on all you thin skinned individuals who ran an exceptional person out of town. You have created a toxic environment where no qualified person in their right mind would ever want to work. You are agents of chaos who bring zero positive attributes to our community. Shohreh, you will be missed!

  16. All you happily accepting the “city line” that the CM left because of a harassment and hostile workplace environment are missing a key point here. Are you telling me that this 54 yr. old (young to retire) woman who ran the staff with an iron fist is so upset over the environment she was working in (and we’ll never know because George and his attorney were never told what she was accusing him of) that she had to fold up her tent and leave? Retirement after 2 1/2 years as CM for a big ole mean man bothering her?? Nope. I don’t buy it for one minute. The City gave her a graceful way out by saying she was retiring and then throwing George under the bus. I’m betting they had something on her that was so bad that even Bob/Sue had to get rid of her. When asked if Bob tried to convince her to stay he said no. What does that tell you??? Justify it all you want you sycophants of the worst City Manager Laguna has ever seen. I’m not buying it. I’m just glad she’s gone and we can now start a search for a proper City Manager like we should have done 2 1/2 years ago. One who runs the city with transparency, fiscal responsibility, resident centric policies and an absence of favoritism. I think there is still more house cleaning to be done – this city can be run properly with the right people. As Roger says – it’s a gem of a town in which to live. I’m hoping now we can all sit back and enjoy it knowing that it’s finally going to be run properly. Last week when Gavin sat in as City Manager the atmosphere was totally different in the room. I wish him continued success and look forward to the city getting back on a good track.

  17. Billy, old buddy, the residents of this town did vote out the most obstreperous policymaker – Peter Blake. Even I beat him. When are you going to have the courage to step up and run for office instead of just squawking?

    Nextdoor is no more a cesspool of misinformation than your self-absorbed, self-serving, self-important, hyperbolic rants and raves in the Indy.

    Lastly, Billy – I could be here all day citing the City Manager’s many faults, errors, breaches of transparency, and anti-resident dealings (I touched on just a few above), but since you obviously choose to ignore them, I won’t waste my time any further.

  18. Billy, thank you for playing saint, expert and judge as usual. Try re reading what people say to understand the context of whom they are referring too, and perhaps its you that should consult a parent that can school you on how un becoming name calling is.

    Doug, who is Fitch?

    It will be interesting to see what may be discovered through deposition and subpoena as litigation approaches in various cases in Laguna Beach. In my opinion and my opinion only Billy, I would not be surprised If Ms Dupuis and other top city leaders participate.

    As for Council member Weiss, he represents our interests with honesty and courage. He alone is a true role model for public service. Thank you for your service George.

    Tony Fisch represents MOM LLC public relations – Ed.

  19. BTW, that up to $10,000 in legal fee compensation statement bears scrutiny.
    First, that’s chump change, these labor and employee relations attorneys make a lot of ducats/hour. It’s a specialized, not generic field of law.
    Perhaps she conferred and was prepped? That’s just it, who knows, if she was represented by counsel in closed session it might be illuminating to know who and when she retained their services.
    In fact the settlement is chump change, walking around Benjamins.
    Lagunans need to get out of the Michael Jackson bubble, this was a relatively modest resolution money-wise. Park the outrage, that’s naïveté or just country bumpkin material.
    One must also ask that if her harassment case against Weiss was so strong, then obversely why so little compensation?
    Often, it’s what’s missing, what’s not there that answers outstanding questions regarding THE WHY.
    She, like all of those of her nomadic ilk working in the public sector, know that they only have job duration security as a function of a majority of those in a dispositive (decision making) position. In this, she only needed to be able to count to 3.
    I supported her with the usual caveats regarding promoting from within, and got lots of flack for it, as if I was a traitor.
    That’s how we got stuck with the previous character, one who acted so aloof and very much at odds from our usual beach tribe vibe. Who knew that we’d come to see his predecessor’s tenure as the salad days?
    What I actually wrote in skepticism a few years ago was give her a shot, “maybe the right man for the job is a wo-man” kind of phrasing. That we’d had a succession of male CMs from inception, the last one seen as an outright bully.
    Whalen and Kempf have been the common master thread, she was seen cynically, suspiciously as fruit of a poisoned tree, the prior administration. They shouldn’t be held blameless, any fool could see this train wreck’s headlights coming from Day 1.
    Their refusal to pass the gavel these past 6 years should scare any sane and just person. It’s their iron grip that needs addressing and remedy, this is not only an unhealthy situation but hazardous to our heritage.
    Too much power concentrated in 2 people over that many years, considering the private interests they serve, pretending to be altruistic, tapping into not just their voter but fiscal base come campaign time.
    “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” Jesse Unruh
    “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods……a good politician is as unthinkable as an honest burglar.” H.L. Mencken (early 1900s)
    “Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private gain.” Ambrose Bierce (1911)
    I go to more public hearings with Boards and Councils than I could ever count each year (yes, most are incredibly boring zzzzzzzz spectacles and narcissistic displays): It’s pro forma to pass the gavel.
    We’re the anomaly, and that opens up a bag of worms—if elected, why should the people who voted be ignored, marginalized, muted by keeping their choice(s) powerless?
    For one thing, passing the gavel educates, it gives elected officials experience as meeting facilitators. NOT dictators, not filibustering demagogues but judicious moderators.
    I challenged those who were already angry back then to give her a 1-year contract, then review her performance. Ditto for Chief Calvert.
    In the real world, where apparently many here don’t and never will reside, performance reviews take place often, usually yearly at minimum. It’s how the employment game is played, you can’t make up new rules just because you like a certain salaried employee.
    And puh-lease, high echelon candidates aren’t unicorns, more like foster children, just passing thru……the best fit would be someone who is employed as either an existing CM or Asst. CM for a coastal tourist community.
    Cal Coastal Commission experiences, the nuances of complex environs, high traffic gateways, the pressures of seasonal bloating (visitations), etc.
    For the naysayers, get out more often: There’s TONS in the CM “gene pool,” she’s not irreplaceable, unparalleled or incomparable.
    Like a combat operation, regardless of who gets wounded or dies, the mission commitment goes on.
    Nobody is that special on this type of stage, they’re always ambitious aspirational people waiting in the wings….and if they can’t take the heat, then don’t apply, don’t go near the heated kitchen of local politics. (Thanks, President Truman)
    We’ll find one, but for those here under say, 60, who stay?
    There’ll be another one in your lifetime, after this next one. Only a rube would think otherwise.
    I bet there’s dozens between the San Diego and San Francisco regions.

  20. Thank you Roger Butow. I agree with so much you stated. I find it particularly disturbing that CC members Bob Whalen and Sue Kempf have had a multi-year stronghold. I believe this has crippled our City governing. They have shown us that they will not practice transparency nor standard best practice and fair leadership. After working with city, boards and commissions and government agency leaders in my career watching this controlling duo has been concerning and shocking. Yes, after three years CC George Weiss deserves to hold the Mayoral position. After multi-terms at Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem- it’s time Bob and Sue step aside.

    I also find the constant and extreme name-calling by local business owners who refuse to accept that the public and many leaders and staff did not feel the CM was right for the job (which clearly the two plus years of Internal and external turmoil proved) should stop pitching such angry and self-interest messaging. If Ms. Dupuis is so valuable in her line of work, she should have no problem securing another CM position. Good luck to her. Time for Laguna Beach to move on. And we will.

  21. I live in a nearby town that has had six city managers in eight years. Any candidate would look at this prattle and say “I pass”. Who needs the grief? And now the Council will set contracts ‘at will” right? The guy running Sawdust would be best.

  22. So many self-interested glorifiers of Ms. Dupuis.

    If she was so gawl darn wonderful as they proclaim,
    she’d still be here.

    But she’s not.

  23. The package offered to Dupuis IMO was to distance Kempf and Whalen from her. The discovery process in the lawsuit by MOM against Hornarkar will likely be very damaging to Dupuis and perhaps to the departed City Attorney, Blake, Kempf and Whalen. IMO this is why this fallacious accusation against George Weiss was concocted by the City leaders to give them plausible deniability and at the same time blame George.

    The amount the CM got to leave her position will be recovered within two years of getting a competent CM.

  24. Chris, I can hardly wait for that discovery. Perhaps that is why many are hearing Whalen will not run for council again. That leaves Kempf sitting on the council until 2026. Interesting that she could potentially be in a trial while serving.

    Tony Fisch represents MOM LLC public relations – Ed.


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