Letter: City not using public funds responsibly

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The Laguna Beach City Council is the gatekeeper of our quality of life in Laguna Beach. They are responsible for our city running smoothly. This also involves the best use of public funds entrusted to their stewardship. That said, I believe we have lost our way.

First, we just lost one of the most effective, talented and experienced city managers we have had, Shohreh Dupuis. A small lobby, led by Mr. George Weiss, was responsible for the expenditure of a half million dollars to avoid further costly litigation. Why did the city council allow this situation to continue to the point that we lost a critically important and effective employee? Today, we arrive at a point where the city council prefers to preserve the source of the toxic environment instead of protecting a valuable asset, our city manager.

I remember that the rationale was “A responsible stewardship of public funds.” 

Let’s see now. We are into this for half a million dollars. 

We have now hired an interim city manager. A previous decision was to have the assistant city manager Mr. Gavin Curran fill this gap. Mr. Curran is knowledgeable of all city programs and the momentum of each. He is already on the city payroll, so there is no financial impact except for a small “bump in pay” for added responsibility. Retreating from this decision, the city council hired an interim city manager. Mr. Sean Joyce was their choice. It will take a considerable amount of time for him to be effective. This will also distract the assistant city manager. Mr. Curran will carry the day while the temporary city manager figures things out. In five months, we will have found a new city manager, and the process will have to be repeated. Does this make sense?

Our interim city manager will be making $143 per hour. It further stated that his contract limits him to work a total of 960 working hours in a fiscal year. That equates to $137,280. The restricted hours work against being effective in his new job. 

Bottom line: Mr. Weiss and the city council have cost the taxpayers $500,000 in compensation to Shohreh Dupuis and $137,280 for a temporary city manager. I ask you, “Is the expenditure of $637,280, plus substantial attorney fees for consultation and drafting the separation agreement, responsible stewardship of public funds? Why does the council protect Mr. George Weiss to perpetuate the toxic work environment at City Hall? True leadership demands prioritizing spending our money that benefits all citizens – not just the convenience of the council. This is our city and our home. It is time we start paying attention to what is going on. In these times of inflation, wasting money on self-induced problems is not acceptable. 

Eric Jensen, Laguna Beach 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Really not worth replying, Eric are you a resident of Laguna, you create chaos on ND and yet you are not listed as a resident, what is your deal, who are you in truth? I think a RE agent and looking for favors..you have an agenda which is quite obvious on ND, in with the crazy Douglas V scenario ..Not buying it or you! Lay off the untruth of George, why don’t you ask for an actual complaint, because George doesn’t have one either..we know you are a install and fake on ND. back to the days of the Salem Witch Hunt, right…no information just what you are told and no concept of what is truth or not…LOL

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