Details in Robinson dismissal expected at tonight’s meeting

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Is tonight the night? The Roseville City Council meets today with the expectation of releasing more details as to the settlement of City Manager Craig Robinson and his final severance. Last week, council members met in closed session to further negotiate Robinson’s separation and said the hope was to reach an agreement by this evening’s meeting. If Robinson is dismissed without cause, his contract states he will receive a year’s salary – $273,000 – as well as a cash out of his benefits. The meeting also revealed some details into the Oct. 9 decision placing Robinson on paid administrative leave. Citing deteriorating communication with council, Mayor Gina Garbolino said, “We have serious things to deal with. We felt we needed the very best and new leadership as we shift into the future.” Roseville resident Jack Wallace couldn’t agree more, but his insistence for new leadership goes beyond just the city manager. “I think there has been a history of poor decision- making and ultimately you can put some of that on the council,” Wallace said. “There have been several bad decisions that have and will continue to cost the taxpayers a fortune.” Former Roseville councilman Phil Ozenick went so far as to say that Robinson was the “sole decision maker” and often overstepped his bounds, going outside of council’s direction. “The council needs to be the policy maker. That’s what we’re doing,” said councilwoman Pauline Roccucci. “We’ll work with the city manager, but ultimately the city manager works for the council.” Earlier this year while attending a city council meeting, Robinson offered to give up his job to anyone who felt they could run the city better. Wallace took him up on the offer and wrote to The Press Tribune. “I do think I could do a better job,” Wallace said. “I think when you put your own interests above the people who work for you, that’s poor management, which is exactly what he did.” Sun City Roseville resident, Bill Adams echoed Wallace’s feelings and said he believed a history of poor decision-making or a loss of respect was likely behind the Oct.9 separation. THe city council also agreed to a bid of $16,500 of General Fund monies to hire an executive search firm to round up potential candidates to take the helm. “In the general fund we usually have some float in the budget. We should have the revenue to cover it and if not, it means something else won’t get done,” said Roseville Treasurer Russ Branson. “It’s typical to go outside and use a firm for that position because council has more direct control over the candidates.” If an agreement is reached tonight, 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.”