In a move that we suspect surprised no one, last night at the City Council meeting, it was decided by Council that both City Manager, Al Noyola, and the City Attorney, Steve Morris were to be fired and released from their contracts.
You can watch last night’s proceedings on the City’s YouTube recording of the event with this link HERE. Public comment lasts for the first 1:09 (one hour, nine minutes) into the recording. The discussion on their termination begins at the 2:17 mark.
Both positions are ‘at will’ and the City Council has the right to terminate their contracts without cause, whatsoever. There are many strong opinions on this decision, in both directions. Those who support their firing state a variety of causes with performance of both gentlemen, and the fact that they were hired by the prior City Council and believe they do not reflect the priorities of the current Council. Those who think differently note that while these are certainly ‘at will’ jobs, the timing of this firing during the pandemic, and having less experienced people in these positions is hardly ideal for the functioning of our City in these exceptionally challenging times.
No new City Manager or City Attorney is currently appointed to their roles as ‘acting’ positions, and a meeting is scheduled to do this on Wednesday, October 21st, in City Council chambers at 1pm.
As City Manager, Al Noyola prepared to leave, he sent the following letter (edited for length) to the City Staff, as follows:
“And the sun will come up again tomorrow, just another day in paradise.”
As I say these words, know that working with this staff is by far the greatest work experience I’ve had. I’ve worked with hundreds of employees over the past four decades, but none have been as welcoming, as dedicated, or as hard-working as you. We have been a phenomenal team, and made great strides to provide better customer service, streamline processes and modernized our practices.
In the past seven months, as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, you, as essential workers, have been on the front lines, making sure residents had the services they need. And you did it with determination and courage. Throughout the crisis, you have kept residents informed and protected, while having concerns about your own wellness and the health of your family. I know it wasn’t easy. But you did it, and I can’t tell you enough how much that has meant to me.
The past few weeks have been filled with angst and uncertainty. My goal, no matter when or how I left the City Manager’s office, was to leave the City, our employees, and our residents in a better place. The leadership team is second-to-none….I ask that you rally around these leaders in the coming weeks as they face unknown challenges.
You all have been there for me – I will continue to be there for you. May you and your families find peace and good health in the coming months.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Team BC,