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South Pas City Manager Appointed to Irwindale

Davidson will take on a new position with the City of Irwindale Nov. 7. What does this mean for South Pas?

The City of Irwindale appointed South Pas City Manager John Davidson to serve as its new City Manager effective Nov. 7 at its Council meeting Wednesday night.

Davidson, who came to South Pas as a part-time manager in June 2009, was up against approximately 30 other applicants, said Sharmeen Bhojani, Human Resources Manager for Irwindale.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to work with yet another good team, an excellent council and community issues that are very exciting and challenging," Davidson told the Pasadena Sun Monday.

And even though Davidson was just hired as a full-time employee for South Pas in April 2011, Mayor Mike Ten says this was part of the plan—that Davidson was brought on to help guide Assistant City Manager Sergio Gonzalez.

"Initially we brought him on as an interim City Manager," said Ten in a "I think we have strategically put a good man in a good place ready to step up for us."

"People always ask me why Sergio is talking for the City," said Ten. "Because Sergio is the future of our City."

Gonzalez came to South Pas in 2003 as a part of the community services department. He was promoted to Assistant City Manager in 2008.

Yet even though Gonzalez was spoken highly of by several candidates at , many also stressed that it's important our new City Manager have a backbone.

"I think we all know what has happened in the past with lack of transparency. I need to see a City Manager who will say no to an individual City Council member," said candidate Chris Claeser.

TRT October 13, 2011 at 08:34 PM
I wonder if the Fair Oaks "fiasco" has contributed to this change?
Janet Cartwright October 13, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Gee, I wonder...
Ron Rosen October 14, 2011 at 12:41 AM
I'm not so sure it was Fair Oaks, because I'm not sure of the degree of heat the CM took for that. I think the project managers took a lot of heat, but I don't know about the CM. My guess would be that being pressured by certain city councilmen to fire a police chief you thought was doing a good job, and replace him with someone with no objective qualifications for the job, and then have to say it was all your doing or else be fired... I'm guessing that kind of thing would not endear someone to their job.
rob hartzell October 14, 2011 at 04:16 AM
This is off the subject but, despite multiple complaints to the city about loud machinery and alarms going on ALL NIGHT LONG, I remain a frustrated resident of South Pasadena desperately in need of a good night's sleep. Thanks to Vons for hiring a leaf blower at 2am to clean their back lot, thanks to the Fair Oaks construction heads for allowing a jackhammer to operate at midnight and most recently, thanks to Pavillions for renting the LOUDEST power washer to clean their parking lot before 5am this morning. Who IS Marlin Ramirez and what is his job exactly??
TRT October 14, 2011 at 07:30 AM
@Rob: You should file an official complaint with the city. To the best of my knowledge, majority of the items you mentioned are in violation of the zoning code (section regarding the noise control(?)) unless they are due to an emergency..
Joanne Nuckols October 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM
I think Marlin's official title is Code Enforcement Officer or at least, he used to be. And, Rob, we have a noise ordinance so check that out and definitely file a complaint if there are violations. You will probably have to follow through with the city if no response in a reasonable time. Good luck!
Janet Cartwright October 14, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Yes, file a complaint! In the mean time, go over to Rite-Aid and get some earplugs. I live on a very busy street here in town and they are a life saver. Good luck and please keep us posted.
Alyssa October 14, 2011 at 04:48 PM
So Sergio Gonzalez is already chosen to be the next City Manager. Just like Joe Payne was already chosen to be Police Chief. I guess this is another rigged recruitment coming up. Sad because there are so many talented, experienced City Manager’s out there who could be an asset to South Pasadena. But here we go again….
S. Ray October 14, 2011 at 07:30 PM
The good news here is that we will be saving some money. Based on the information recently published in the South Pasadena Review, Gonzalez is costing the city more than $200,000 a year, while the CM was substantially less. My hope is that we will have Gonzalez take the job and eliminate the job he held, particularly if the city is going to insist on also having a Director of Human Resources for such a small staff. My company and many of our competitors are about the size of the city staff, and we would never think of having an HR director to go with a full time Manager and a full time Assistant Manager. It's classic wasteful government spending.
Ron Rosen October 15, 2011 at 12:12 AM
And don't be surprised if David Sifuentes or one of his pals winds up as fire chief, or even better, Battalion chief over a few departments. In May he proposed an ad hoc committee to study "succession planning" in the fire department. And guess what? He put himself on the committee. Can you spell conflict of interest?
Ernest Arnold October 15, 2011 at 12:41 AM
A City Manager is like a football coach. It is a full time but temporary job. Everyone who hold that positions know that sooner or later he/she will fall out of favor. Even a good City Manager will be the scape coat for a dis-functional city council. I agree that John Davidson has been looking for cover ever since Chief Watson was let go, and it is probably best that he is gone. It was however a disservice to name Sergio Gonzalez in candidate forum. Whether or not he is qualified or the best candidate, we cannot have have another shame interview process.
Art Salinas October 19, 2011 at 04:49 PM
I couldn't agree more Ernie. I was disspointed at the last forum when one of the candidates sitting to our right on the dais started by mentioning Sergio as the proper successor. We were told not to specify anyone as a possible successor in the ground rules. I'll let the tape of the event speak for itself. As much as I like and respect Sergio, we will have proper executive search. We will hire a leader, one who will have the fortitude to advise the council when it might be overstepping its jurisdiction. We need a communicator. Importantly, we need someone who understands our Mission Statement and will apply it in his, or her, daily operations.
Mindy B October 19, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Ernest, At the forum at City Hall did you really say that we're a "starter City" and that pay for our staff should be low and we should expect major turnover. How can that be good for a City? How many City managers have we had in the last decade? How many public works directors? If we aren't a competitive City we will have to suffer through projects and programs managed by people with little if any institutional knowledge. So far I'm finding your ideas gleaned from the business world potentially very bad for this City.
Ron Rosen October 20, 2011 at 05:39 AM
Art Salinas: So you are in favor of proper executive searches? That's interesting because David Sifuentes, who is your strong supporter, and union consultant Jeffrey Monical, who is your campaign advisor, sure don't. Neither does the Police Officers Association, who according to the Pasadena Sun is your biggest donor so far. These people engineered the removal of Police Chief Watson for political reasons. They already had Payne picked out. There is strong evidence of that. We all knew it before the job was even announced, and it came to pass. Payne was probably the least qualified of a field of 19, and he somehow managed to get selected. Why? Because David Sifuentes made it clear to the City Manager that better happen. You not only do not denounce Sifuentes, Monical, and the POA, you are one of only two candidates who accepts their support. That makes me not trust you to be independent. That makes me think you'll give Sifuentes, Monical, and the POA anything they ask you for. I'm guessing that one of the things Sifuentes will ask for is getting himself in as Fire Chief or Battalion Chief. And I'm guessing you'll do whatever he wants. He's supporting you so you'll return the favor by doing what he wants. That's the way he works. That's how he got rid of Dan Watson. That's how he put in Joe Payne. I know that SIfuentes and Monical are not good for South Pasadena. I have to assume you aren't either.

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