Thursday Nov 05 2009
Roseville City Manager dismissed
By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
City votes 4-1 to pay Robinson $390,136
After a month of speculation, the Roseville City Council decided to dismiss City Manager Craig Robinson. City Attorney Brita Bayless announced the results of the closed session meeting Wednesday night stating council had voted unanimously to release Robinson. In a separate vote, regarding Robinson’s severance, council voted 4-1 to pay out his contract over the course of a year. Councilwoman Pauline Roccucci issued the dissenting vote and said she felt the lack of communication between Robinson and the council was reason enough to terminate his contract with cause and without pay. “It comes to a point where it’s more controlling and manipulative than just a strong manager,” Roccucci said. “Because of that I pushed for termination with cause. We needed change.” That change will come with a price tag of $390,136 paid out over the course of 12 months, which is the total amount of a year’s salary plus the cash value of Robinson’s benefits as directed by his contract. “My God, that’s obscene,” said Roseville resident Clay Kowart when he heard the news. “Especially in this economy when other departments have made tremendous cutbacks.” Kowart said after remarks made last week by Roseville Mayor Gina Garbolino, he was expecting a dismissal without pay but said, “I shouldn’t be surprised, (council) let us down.” Garbolino maintained her statements of communication and relationship issues becoming a distraction for council, but said that alone was not reason enough to terminate Robinson’s contract with cause. “We can terminate (Robinson’s) contract for a variety of reasons,” Garbolino said. “Communication is not a cause. Cause has very different guidelines like criminal action or malfeasance, which there was none so we terminated without cause 4-1.” “I think there’s more on this than what council would like to have out,” Kowart said. Efforts made by The Press Tribune to reach Robinson were unsuccessful. Former Roseville Mayor and Councilwoman June Wanish said deteriorating communication should have been a justifiable reason to dismiss Robinson, but wondered if fear of repercussion was the ultimate reason behind council’s decision. “If he protested and took the city to court who knows the cost of court fees,” Wanish said. “It could have been better in the long term to pay him now than follow through with court proceedings.” Roccucci said given the cost to the city of Robinson’s salary and benefits she would have stood by her decision even if it meant going to court. “Now is not the time to be paying an extra salary that he doesn’t warrant. Council is scraping nickels and dimes at every council meeting and the community is doing the same,” Roccucci said. “I would go to the mat to make sure he’s not getting a free ride.