The Jake Files

April 24, 2006

Candidate Quotes on Pentz Resignation

The East Valley Trib's Chris Markham has some quotes from the candidates in today's edition:

 The Chandler city manager’s forced resignation has stirred things up in the city’s three-way race for two City Council seats. Candidates Trinity Donovan, Becky Jackson and Jeff Weninger are running for seats about to be vacated by Vice Mayor Phill Westbrooks and Councilwoman Donna Wallace, who are leaving due to term limits. (snip)

Weninger called the council’s decision “an abuse of power” and has vowed, along with incumbents Caccamo and Huggins, to push to rehire Pentz if he is elected.

Jackson called the issue “a black eye for the city,” but declined to take a position on the council’s decision. “I do not agree with the way it was handled,” she said.

Donovan, 28, claims endorsements from all seven City Council members. She, along with Jackson, attended Pentz’s nine-hour job review two weeks ago.

She has said she didn’t hear anything that warranted firing the city manager, but did see a breakdown in communication on both sides. (snip)

Jackson is president of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and has no plans to leave her post if elected.

To Jackson, no conflict of interest exists since the chamber has no financial ties to the city government, and she vowed to vote independently — even on issues the chamber’s board of directors, her bosses, take a stand on.

She was part of the committee that helped come up with the recommendation to build a city hall facility on Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street. She said she supports the site and believes it will spur redevelopment on south Arizona Avenue.

Weninger, a restaurant owner, has strongly opposed the recommended site, claiming the property along the avenue should be used for retail development that generates sales tax dollars.

Donovan said she didn’t know enough yet about the city hall recommendation to have a position.

So, Trinity Donovan's had it pretty easy so far with Weninger and Jackson duking it out.  If I were her I'd do the exact same thing – try to stay out of the way and stay above the fray.  But she should know the issues, like the financial implications of placement of a City Hall complex.

The Chandler Independent published a story last week that I missed linking to at the time.  You can find it here.  Selected quotes:

“I think there was a separation request by the city manager,” Vice Mayor Westbrooks said. “We simply honored that request. It was a mutual agreement to part ways.” (snip)

Councilman Orlando claimed there never was a plan by the four council members to get rid of Mr. Pentz, criticism of Mr. Pentz’s performance was part of the evaluation process and Councilman Orlando was satisfied with the outcome.

“I think it was a win-win situation for everyone,” Councilman Orlando said. “It was a mutual agreement. It wasn’t a dismissal. There was never any talk at the council meeting of firing Mr. Pentz. I think Mark Pentz has done a great job in some areas. My issue is when I ask a full-time city manager to resolve issues, 90 percent of the time citizens have to wait. I can’t wait 9 to 10 weeks.”

With all due respect, it was NOT a win-win for everyone.  Chandler lost a well-regarded and effective City Manager.  Chandler lost about $250k in a severance agreement.  Chandler lost prestige and esteem, and will likely have to settle for a second-tier candidate for City Manager as a result, unless Mr. Pentz decides to return after the new council is seated. 

It may have been a win for Mr. Pentz monetarily, and a win for the Gang of Four in not facing lawsuits, but it was definitely a LOSS for Chandler.

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