San Bernardino Seal

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/10/2013 07:35:11 PM PST

Special Section: San Bernardino

SAN BERNARDINO – The likelihood that Acting City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller will soon take another job and the possibility that many others might follow her out hung over Thursday’s special City Council meeting.

Contracts with consultants to help with the city’s finances already had the close attention of council members, given how far behind the city was on finance-related tasks that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury indicated were vital for the city to retain bankruptcy protection.

The contracts become even more important now that Travis-Miller has been nominated to be executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, several council members said.

If the full board of that agency approves her, the city would lose the top manager who has worked with consultants to shepherd the city through its tumultuous bankruptcy process.

The prospect of losing Travis-Miller means the city should be extra vigilant about ensuring consultants are clear on exactly what they are being asked to do.

“I know this sounds like micromanagement to some folks,” Councilwoman Wendy McCammack said as she suggested small changes to the language of one contract, “but if Ms. Miller ends up in the best job in the world 30 days from now, they’ll say you already agreed to this scope of work, and I don’t think that’s right.”

When city managers have left the city in the past, it has often been followed by other top-level departures, although City Attorney James F. Penman said only one supervisor had written a resignation letter this year. Penman didn’t name that person, but police Lt. Paul Williams, the department spokesman, said Steve WilKomm was leaving as division manager of Code Enforcement, which as part of a 2012 budget reduction was moved into the Police Department.

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