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Council claims poor communication led to Robinson's departure

Executive firm hired at $16,500 to find replacement manager
By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Roseville residents may learn more about the fate of City Manager Craig Robinson Wednesday as council members are hopeful they will reach a settlement. A closed session meeting of Roseville city council members Thursday uncovered some details into the Oct. 9 decision placing Robinson on paid administrative leave. Citing deteriorating communication with council, Mayor Gina Garbolino said the strained relationship had become a “distraction” and was hindering the city’s ability to move forward. “We have serious things to deal with,” Garbolino said. “We felt we needed the very best and new leadership as we shift into the future.” Council met to negotiate Robinson’s departure from his post and what his takeaway from the city will be. If Robinson is dismissed without cause, his contract states he will receive a year’s salary -$273,000- as well as a cashout of his benefits. City officials have kept mum since news of Robinson’s departure broke earlier this month, which has some, like Sun City Roseville resident Bill Adams speculating on the reasons beyond council’s statements of it being a “personnel matter.” “If everything was good and rosy, like they’d have us believe, why are they being so secretive?” Adams said. “We don’t need details, but the citizens have a right to know what’s going on and why.” Adams said he believed that if Robinson had opted to leave on good terms, council wouldn’t be hiding in closed session meetings or behind “personnel matter” statements. Adams said a history of poor decision-making or a loss of respect was likely behind the Oct.9 departure. “It would benefit council at this point to make a statement,” Adams said. “They leave the door open for speculation and rumors.” Garbolino remained tight lipped about further details regarding Robinson’s departure and the negotiation process, but said she was hopeful a decision would be made soon. In an effort to save money, Garbolino said council was delaying a decision by continuing negotiations for another week. Council will meet again in closed session before the regularly scheduled city council meeting on Nov. 4 at which time Garbolino said an agreement may be made. “We have put off making a firm agreement until Wednesday and hopefully then we can get to a point where we can move on and be successful,” Garbolino said. “Until then, we are still negotiating how to handle the separation and I have to be respectful of that and the parties involved.” If an agreement is reached Wednesday, Garbolino said the council would report the decision and was hopeful that “we will be able to put all of this behind us and move forward.” Assistant City Manager Mike Shellito has taken over the post until a replacement is found. Council also agreed Thursday to hire a search firm at $16,500, not including expenses, to round up potential candidates to take the helm. Garbolino said she and the council were confident that the firm, which she said the city has used in the past, will find the best candidates possible. “We’re moving into a new decade and we want the very best pool (of candidates) to choose from,” Garbolino said. “We need someone with the kind of talent and experience to move us forward.”