Sunday, April 26, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

Was it a lie or a mistake?

That’s the burning question over whether or not San Bernardino City Manager Allan Parker duped city council members into approving an employment contract for an inexperienced applicant to take on the job of what amounts to a public relations officer, and task her with the job of developing a marketing plan to improve the city’s image, as it emerges from chapter 9 bankruptcy.

When the contract for Monica Lagos was approved last week there was plenty of discussion and misinformation.

Lagos, an employee of Westbound Communications, was under consideration for the position of “Manager of Communications”. Whatever that means!

There’s no other title like it in Inland Empire local government circles. The strange title speaks volumes on its own.

Lagos, whose only experience with the city is handling a Food Truck Program, will be paid a total compensation package costing the city $140,875.

The aforementioned Westbound wanted $225,000 per year, before it withdrew from consideration. The firm Tripepi Smith wanted $215,000 per year. Yucaipa-based Desmond and Louis bid $75,000 per year.

However, when asked, Parker told city council members that Desmond was well over $100,000 per year, inferring or implying that Lagos was cheaper.

What is even more disturbing? Parker says the city will also have to hire a firm in addition to Lagos. What an intelligent observation.

But it’s nice to see the bankrupt municipality has money to throw around.

Now a few glaring questions please:

Why does the city’s former public relations firm keep coming up at every turn?

Was the Lagos contract intended to lighten the aforementioned Westbound’s payroll?

Will the former chief of staff to Mayor Carey Davis wind up with a job at Westbound?

Does the Mayor somehow have Parker by the throat?

The way the whole situation went down, it stinks.