PERRODIN RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT CITY MANAGER
COMPTON—Controversy over the city manager continued during the Tuesday, July 3, City Council meeting, as Mayor Eric J. Perrodin addressed ethical and financial issues and his concerns regarding designated City Manager Howard Duffey during his closing comments.
Council members Janna Zurita, Yvonne Arceneaux and Willie Jones voted for Duffey on Tuesday, June 12. Perrodin was absent for the meeting and did not participate in the selection process because of a dispute between interim City Manager Bryan Batiste and Zurita. Councilwoman Lillie Dobson did not participate in the vote and expressed her support for the status quo during several Council meetings.
Perrodin mentioned that Duffey called three times and asked him for a meeting before the Tuesday, June 26, Council meeting.
“I did not return any of his calls,” he said. “He is not the city manager yet, and I will not meet with him until he is on the job.”
Duffey addressed the Council on Tuesday, June 26.
“He should have declined,” he said. “It is disrespectful to the current city manager.”
Perrodin has not softened his position since asking pointed questions about how the contract amount for city manager changed during the Tuesday, June 19, Council meeting.
“Duffey said in a newspaper article that he signed a contract in Compton, on Sunday, June 17, paying him $205,000 and a $650 per month vehicle allowance,” he said. “Additionally, he said he will be able to appoint department heads and build a professional team moving the city forward in the story.”
The Council has not received a contract for Duffey, Perrodin said, and the group must approve the agreement before Duffey can begin his tenure.
“I do not believe everything I read in the paper,” he said. “This is what the article says. Getting back on track is difficult when you start off on the wrong foot.”
Perrodin cited an article from the Mercury News, he said, which identified Duffey as a candidate for the vacant East Palo Alto city manager position.
“He did not mention that when he addressed the Council last week,” he said. “If Duffey said he withdrew his name from consideration there would be no issue, and he is all-in with Compton.”
The severance pay package offered by the city, Perrodin said, is his greatest concern.
“I support our city manager, whoever he is, but if this man signs a $205,000 contract with a one-year severance package, he could take the East Palo Alto job or go back to Oroville on Aug. 1, say the job here is not for him after working for one week, collect a year’s salary and leave,” he said. “The city will never progress if it continues doing business like that.”
Moving forward as a city, Perrodin said, should be the top priority.
“I do not need to be friends with anybody on this dais,” he said. “We are not going to agree about everything and people have differences of opinion. I think it should not be about personal issues. It is about improving the city.”
Responsibility for the issues facing the city rest on his shoulders, Perrodin said, and he made a mistake by depending on people to do the right thing.
“When that does not work, you have to get more forceful,” he said.
The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, July 17.