By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 11/19/15 – 6:48 PM PST |
SAN BERNARDINO >> City Manager Allen Parker confirmed at a neighborhood meeting Thursday that he would be leaving Dec. 31, after a closed session vote to offer him $221,976 in severance pay in exchange for his resignation from a position that had become increasingly fractious.
“As you probably know, I’m only your city manager for another six weeks,” Parker said at the outset of a previously scheduled appearance before the Del Rosa Neighborhood Action Group’s meeting. “The article … was pretty accurate, and I don’t need to go into that.”
Yet Parker did candidly speak about the issues he saw in the city and what the path forward could look like.
“A lot of people want to hold onto what San Bernardino was when they grew up, and such,” he said. “Those days are gone.”
Parker, who said he hadn’t gotten a call back when he first applied to be the city’s manager but was contacted a year later by a headhunter and hired in February 2013 when apparently “no one else was interested,” said the city had deep structural issues.
For one, he said the city was “basically run for many years by Mr. Penman,” referring to the long and influential tenure of City Attorney James F. Penman (Penman did not have a vote, but believed that as an elected official it was his role to enter policy debates).
That contributed, according to Parker, to a lack of professional staff with the ability to manage the city. He said he was changing, however.
“I do think there is a good core of staff to move forward,” he said.
The Del Rosa Neighborhood Action Group audience was largely positive, applauding when resident James Smith thanked him for three years of good service.
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