Thursday, January 13, 2011

Input on CM

ENCINITAS — Bobbi Peckham, a principal with Peckham & McKenny based in Sacramento, gave a presentation to the City Council on Jan. 12 regarding the recruitment efforts to find a replacement for interim City Manager Phil Cotton.

“I want to fully understand the city of Encinitas,” she said. She will meet with individual City Council members, the current interim city manager and the city’s management team on Jan. 13 in an effort to accomplish that goal. However, she also left the door open for residents to add their input as well.

In late May, Cotton, 61, submitted his resignation, saying he was ready to retire after 12 years with the city. His last day was scheduled to be July 6. City Council voted June 23 to offer departing City Manager Phil Cotton a temporary contract as interim city manager.

Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks and Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan make up the ad-hoc committee to facilitate the hiring efforts to replace Cotton.

Peckham said she is already advertising the position in industry publications, but that “anyone who is interested in applying may apply” by the Feb. 21 deadline.

A dozen to 20 leading candidates will be presented for the council’s review in the later part of March. The first round of interviews with finalists will begin in early April.

“We do not want only a presentation by the consultant,” Sheila Cameron, a former City Council member and mayor, said. She reminded the council that it voted to include public comment in the qualification discussions for the new city manager.

The public can e-mail Peckham directly at with suggestions for the city manager position.

Wouldn't it be cool if the top candidates were asked to be interviewed by the public before being hired? It wouldn't be the first time public administration job candidates were reviewed by the public.


  1. In 1999, when Sheila Cameron tried to fire Encinitas City Manager Lauren Wasserman, Wasserman produced a 'greatest hits' audio tape of the dozens of angry threats Cameron made against him and other Encinitas City employees on their city staff answering machines.

    The end result was that because of the "greatest hits" tape of threats, Wasserman was "upgraded" to a higher pay grade with Cal Pers that allowed him for the past decade to receive substantially increased benefits because of the tape; that will continue for the rest of his life.

    Sheila Cameron is the absolute LAST person who should be involved in choosing a City Manager for Encinitas.

    The oft criticized 'three council votes' for an item to be agendized was a DIRECT result of Cameron's ten months as Mayor of Encinitas, AND one of the reasons Wasserman was fired, for Wasserman continued to agendize items that the other four council people wanted to be heard...that Cameron would not agendize.

    After Cameron was removed (for cause,ask the County Sheriff) the other council people adopted the 'three person policy' to make sure a lone Mayor would never stop something important from being agendized again.

    Wasserman is probably still laughing.

  2. Wasn't Wasserman the guy who wanted to take 15 feet of private property from homeowners in Cardiff to widen the streets?

  3. Over worked and underpaidJanuary 13, 2011 4:03 PM

    Whomever the new city manager is, will be under worked and over paid.

  4. for cause,ask the County Sheriff

    What will the Sheriff say?

  5. This town is crazyJanuary 13, 2011 7:28 PM

    It would be interesting to know how nutty she really is?

  6. Phill Cotton has been the best City Manager Encinitas has ever had. He has served this Country and City with the respect and honor. You will be hard pressed to find a better man. He has managed this economic crisis better than any other City Manager in North County. The numbers don't lie. The City has been audited by a third party and found no inpropriety. He is the first one in and the last to leave on most days. It seems that some of you just like to hate and be up in arms about anything the city does or does not do.

  7. If caring and acting on the environment, safety and well-being of the city is nutty, bring on the kooks.

  8. Phil Cotton supported the 2004-05 huge pension boost which put Encinitas on the road to bankruptcy.

    Phil Cotton was manager the whole time Encinitas was deferring millions of dollars in road maintenance to create the illusion of a balanced budget.

    But Phil Cotton will be long gone and partying on his fat pension by the time the bills come due.

  9. Look around the county, all cities defer road work for all kinds of various reasons. You do what you gotta do in hard times. When will we see this so called pension crisis for Encinitas actually happen anyway?

  10. Watch the videos and you tell me

  11. all cities defer road work for all kinds of various reasons. You do what you gotta do in hard times.

    Now I see where your priorities are. Cut services all you want in hard times, but don't touch the fat union pensions!

  12. On Wednesday night Teresa Barth ask that the alleged violation of Phil Cotton's contract be put on the agenda. City Attorney Glenn Sabine said that discussing personnel information might be protected under the Brown Act. Instead a subcommittee (Houlihan and Stocks) would look at it. It is reported that at least two people reported the irregularity to Sabine in October and December, and he did nothing. Is Sabine trying to hide this as a favor to Cotton?

    Last year Jerome Stock with Dan Dalager and James Bond attempted to spike Cotton' salary just before he announced his retirement. This didn't pass, but it sure looked suspicious. Pension benefits are calculated on the last year's salary.

    I don't agree that he is our best City Manager ever. He used every opportunity to benefit himself at the expense of the Encinitas taxpayer.

  13. This Sabine guy is a typical sleazey lawyer. He takes 15 minutes to "explain" an issue that could be summarized in 5; he uses the most confusing terminology and convoluted logic possible. He has been part of the consortium of inner power that has lined their own pockets and those of their political supporters. Retire Sabine along with Cotton.

  14. 7:48

    Great bit! You passed the audition for The Comedy Club!

  15. 821,

    Hard times? They've been deferring street maint for 10 years. Don't forget that Phil was PW director before city manager.

    In the best of times they were shoveling debt into the future.

    As for the great feats of Phil, what actions did HE take that were so great?

  16. "all cities defer maintenance"

    Not true. Only the poorly managed ones let it build up. The dishonest ones cover it up.

    In which year was Phil finally honest about the deferred road maintenance?

    If you base your evaluation of Phil on a few lines of his biosketch and don't have any details of what has really happened doesn't that make you a shill.

    As for the audit, have you ever spoken with the city's auditors? Ever seen them present their report? Where does there report say they investigated and found not monkeybizness. Where? The city has never hired anyone to do that. Who hires someone to investigate themselves.

    The CIty of Bell had the same type of audits.

  17. Sheila Cameron - Really!

    Do you think she is a good judge of character - don't think so.

    Someone should do the top ten crazy acts of Sheila, you may need to make that the top 100 crazy acts.

  18. Who is this public that should decide who is city manager, I thought the public made that decision in November.

  19. Wow. You must not like any questioning of your power.

    SDUSD has put their finalists to the public for PUBLIC input:

    Nor Cal cities go so far as have DEPARTMENT HEADs go in front ot he public prior to being appointed.

    The people elected get to vote. They have the vote. It is the public's responsibility to be involved and to keep the electeds clean and on their toes.

    The candidates that won in November both SAID they would be making decisions based on the input of the public. That approach won IN NOVEMBER. Did someone lie in NOVEMBER?

  20. Dear 12:00,

    Shelia Cameron is a crazy nut ball bugger pickin commie.

    She seems to know more about Phil Cotton's record than you. At least she isn't a shill.

    Who has a better understanding, you or Shelia? Tell us all the great things that Phil has done. Tell us why all the critics are wrong.

    Start with the Mossy Nissan multimillion dollar scandal?

  21. Why did Sheila speak against the Streetscape at the last City Council meeting? Did that show good judgement?

  22. Cameron's salary information on Cotton came directly from Houlihan, who should know what is true or not.

  23. Wow,

    Shillage is flooding the blog. Stop distracting from things that matter, unless you have knowledge that Shelia is a candidate for the manager's spot get back on topic and enlighten us on how great Phil has been as city manager.

  24. 148=insider.

    Not happy that people are challenging your city hall propaganda?

  25. Way down south in the land of Cotton... good times soon forgotten... look away... look away... Enci-land! Good luck to the new City Manager. Who wants to determine which of you get to interview candidates? Most of you could not even agree on that prospect. I would not be shocked if one of you even tried to sue for the right to do so.

  26. I really have to laugh when Sheila says she represents our city - didn't the city throw her out of office for being an idiot?

    Sheila get real, your really no better than Dalager.

  27. Making threats on the city voicemail... Are you kidding me?Sheila... Queen of the idiots! Go follow her lead, you bitter bunch of idiots.

  28. Almost every City Manager we have had was bad. Cotton just a few short years ago was making around 40 thousand a year. Getting bumped up to 250 thousand a year with a retirement of 90% of that shows how bad our councils have been. They are all a bunch of idiots. Pretty soon all tax monies collected will go to employee wages, benefits and retirement. The USA, California, Illinois, NY and a lot of cities in Ca will go the way of Greece. Everybody gets free stuff.

  29. WC has it right again. I wonder when the rest of the public will wake up?

  30. More distraction.

    We want to hear from the Jerome Stocks support crew how great Phil Cotton did. Please start listing all the things Phil did that were extraordinary. If you can't, post some stuff about a meaningless citizen like Cameron.

  31. Hey JP, how many anti-Sheila posts on this thread are from the same sour-puss?

  32. Yeah, I also think the anti-Sheila venom is being written by a single person. Sheila has every right to give her opinion at council meetings. I watched as she single-handedly stopped the council from a $115,000 giveaway to Carltas (Ecke) to plug a hole in the cash-strapped golf course. This was a Carltas obligation, not a city obligation.

    The details of Cotton's contract were publicly discussed in council session. One of the conditions was NO BENEFITS. It was also to run 3 months, with 3 one-month extensions. The six months are now up. What will happen in February? It seems the search started very late. Sheila and others simply called attention to this lapse by the city.

    The Mossy public works yard was a huge disaster. The City paid $1 million over appraisal for a turnkey building, and then paid 3.5 million to retrofit it to make it ADA compliant. Does this make Cotton our best city manager ever? I think not.

  33. In the contract for the next CM there needs to be a clause that he or she will not be part of the retirement or benefit system. Should we the taxpayers be on the hook for Cotton's retirement/medical benefits for life? Surely a qualified candidate could be found.

  34. Great idea,

    The new CM should be on a defined contributions plan. If you make $150K and are getting the job because you can handle a city budget and the city's investments you are smart enough to buy an annuity if you want security. You should also have a lot of money to invest, unless you are a spender.

    Mossy was overpriced by millions. I think got above 3.5 mill for retrofit and it certainly was only part for ADA. It was not turnkey for a PWY as Cotton told the public. There was no reason to avoid having the appraisal reviewed, unless you wanted to overpay. Why did they want to overpay?

    As for the new CM, I think it would build trust, ensure we get a CM that will build trust, and result in the selection of CM that is not going to have more moral courage if the evaluation process involves the public. A good CM that follows the law and makes decision making public could change the whole tenor of the city. A good place to start is before even being hired.

  35. Word on the street that this whole thing is a ruse and that Larry Watt will be the new City Manager. I guess we will see if it is true.

  36. The next CM should be hired from the Home Depot parking lot or from in front of the Shell station at I-5 and Enc Blvd. $10 bucks per hour and lunch. Nada mas!!!

  37. The end result would be the same. Happy ending for Stocks. Until he is ousted in 2012 nothing will change. the only thing interesting is how he will try and get in Gaspars pants like a fat man sneaks snickers bars in his sock drawer.

  38. KC - How do you involve the public without creating a bias and represent the majority of citizens who enjoy their city and are not haters?

    Maybe each "elected" councilperson picks 2 to seat on a panel to interview the city manager candidates - does that sound fair?

    Share us your public involvement solution without giving us your a general statement that the public be involved - too vague!



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