The Jake Files

April 11, 2006

Roundup on the City Manager Controversy

UPDATE:  11:40am

AZCentral.com has an updated story by Edythe Jensen here:

At 2 a.m. Tuesday, and after it became obvious there were four votes to fire Pentz, the city council accepted a separation agreement from the manager's attorney. It gives Pentz more than double the payouts required in his contract but gets rid of him without threats of lawsuits.

The agreement has Pentz working until May 1. He then will go on paid administrative leave for three months and would resign effective Aug. 1.
The move, which is expected to cost taxpayers more than $250,000, came after a crowd of city employees, residents and business leaders showed up to support the manager. Of about 150 who packed the council chambers when the meeting started at 3:30 p.m., nearly 50 stayed until the 2 a.m. conclusion.  (snip)

The agreement, drawn up by Cohen, has Pentz receiving a 4 percent increase in base salary retroactive to Jan. 19, 2006. On July 31, the city will pay him 12 months of base salary and 12 months of car allowance. On Aug. 1, Pentz will receive $3,000 for expenses associated with a job search.

Pentz, 55, was hired in 2004 and is paid $167,280 annually. A former city manager for Rockville, Md., Pentz is Chandler's third chief executive in six years. He succeeded Donna Dreska who was on the job a year when she resigned under fire in 2003 after the council agreed to pay her about $100,000 in severance concessions.

So let me get this straight.  The City Council paid $100 grand 3 years ago to get rid of city Manager Donna Dreska.  Now they're going to pay more than $250 grand to get rid of Mark Pentz?  When the city economy is booming and local business leaders voice support for him?  Are they nuts?  This is fiscally irresponsible.  I wish Mr. Pentz well.  He deserves respect, and he deserves to walk away with what he received.
 

Yesterday's East Valley Tribune has some background on the issue, but no new story reporting on what happened last night. 

The Republic has info here, and background here, and here.  Interesting about the number of people that initially attended (c. 150).  Watching the proceedings after midnight last night, it looked like a handful were still there.  The story was filed at midnight, with no resolution reported.

The Chandler Independent has nothing (as of 9:15am).

The San Tan Sun Times won't publish again until this weekend, but they'll probably have a good blow-by-blow description.

The Wrangler News independent paper, the Chandler Connection, the Phoenix Business Journal, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Chandler website all have nothing.

Geo's Precinct 134 linked to our post from last night (thanks!), but no new information.

Reader A.M. left the following comment that leads me to believe the council accepted the terms of the proposed severance agreement:

What did I tell you? It made me want to puke. Pentz got a lot of money, but they won’t be able to be sued. I wonder if in the executive session the City Attorney politely told Orlando et al what dumbasses they are and that they better take the deal, because they were definitely going to get sued otherwise. Can’t wait for the recalls to start. Our city needs to be free of those two incompetents. Thank God for term limits, too (Westbrooks and Wallace).
Good luck finding a job, BTW. I hear there’s a city manager position open here in Chandler. No one in their right mind would take it, however. . .

Comment by A.M. — April 11, 2006 @ 2:43 am

So what is one to do if they want the full story?  I guess I'll have to watch the rest of the meeting that I Tivo'd.  But, as A.M. reminds me, I am still looking for a new job, so council-watching and additional blogging will have to wait until tonight. 

And, thanks for the suggestion A.M., but based on the way this council has treated their current City Manager, I don't think I care to dip my toe into that shark tank.  Hard to imagine who would.

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2 Comments »

  1. Found your blog when I googled for info on the Pentz story. Great blog, I have added it to my daily reading list. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by V.A.M. — April 11, 2006 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  2. Nice roundup. Thanks for weighing in.

    Comment by A.M. — April 11, 2006 @ 7:00 pm | Reply


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