Former city manager to serve as interim leader
The Portola City Council unanimously accepted the resignation of City Manager Robert Meacher without discussion during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, May 2.
“We accept his letter of resignation,” Mayor Pat Morton said, “and now we need to start the recruitment process.”
After a closed session, the council reconvened and announced that the city would be negotiating with former City Manager Leslie (Tigan) Chrysler to serve as the interim manager from May 16, 2018 to June 30, 2020. When asked why the term was for two years if the council was planning to recruit for the position, Chrysler, who was present, explained that it was because of the terms of her PERS, which limits the number of hours, as well as contract terms. The two-year timeframe would ensure that she would be available as needed.
While no reason was given for Meacher’s resignation, during a phone interview, Meacher said he had planned to retire at the end of November, but abruptly changed his plans when he returned home from vacation April 23 and saw that he was scheduled for an unexpected performance evaluation April 25.
Meacher said he was told, “We think you should leave sooner rather than later.” Originally, that date was going to be June 30, the end of the fiscal year, but Meacher decided to depart immediately and resigned effective 5 p.m. on April 27.
“I resigned because since announcing I was leaving at the end of November, working conditions have changed,” he said.
Meacher said that had he not been on vacation, he doesn’t think that any of this would have transpired.
“All the reasons they cited were not legitimate,” Meacher said of the concerns expressed by the council during a separation meeting.
The city has faced a number of challenges recently, including those with the Portola Fire Department.
As this newspaper went to press, there was no comment made by the city in relation to the separation.
When asked about his plans for the future, Meacher said, “I’m still sorting through this.”
Meacher is a former Plumas County Supervisor and the former owner of the Genesee Store, as well as a resident there. He relocated to Portola some time after he accepted the city manager position in June 2014.