Transitions: Lakewood, CA; Ada, OK; Indianola, IA and more

Lakewood, California (population 80,048): Howard Chambers is expected to receive a three-year contract during tonight’s City Council meeting to return as city manager, a position he held 34 years, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Chambers retired in early 2011, but agreed to remain as interim city manager on a part-time basis for another year. During its Jan. 24 meeting, the council unanimously agreed to rehire Chambers effective March 1 for a three-year contract and authorized the city attorney to write the employment agreement. If the council approves the proposed contract today, Chambers, 67, will rescind his retirement March 1 and return as city manager. His salary will be $225,000, which is less than his previous salary of $240,000, and he will have full-time use of a city-owned Honda Civic natural gas vehicle. Chambers will be an at-will employee with no right to severance pay if his contract is terminated, according to the proposed contract.

Ada, Oklahoma (population 16,810): The Ada city council officially accepted the resignation of their city manager Monday night, according to KXII. After 15 years on the job, David Hathcoat resigned last Thursday. City officials say they can’t go into detail, because it’s a personnel issue. However, former mayor Roger Cupps says Hathcoat and the current mayor disagreed over building a new lake to serve water customers. City council members didn’t go very far when it came to naming an acting city manager Monday night, according to The Oklahoman. Frank Stout, the city attorney and a former city council member and mayor, was unanimously appointed by the council after Stout and the council spent more than an hour in executive session. Stout has been the city attorney since the end of 2010. Earlier in the meeting, the council had convened in another executive session for nine minutes returning to unanimously vote to accept the resignation of City Manager David Hathcoat. Hathcoat did not attend the meeting. After accepting Hathcoat’s resignation, the council bypassed agenda items calling for possible action to begin removing him from the job and the consideration of suspension of the city manager. Hathcoat’s employment had been a topic of council discussion since the council placed a letter of reprimand in his personnel file about two years ago after he was caught gambling at a casino during city hall business hours. After that, Scalf voted to fire him but the other council members voted to reprimand him. Hathcoat had served as city manager for 15 years. He could not be reached for comment. Scalf said Stout would take over the city manager’s role beginning Today. He declined further comment.

Indianola, Iowa (population 14,782): The Indianola City Council met Monday, Feb. 13, to approve an agreement with city manager Tim Zisoff following Zisoff’s resignation Feb. 10, according to the DesMoines Register. According to the agreement, Zisoff will be on paid leave from Feb. 11 through May 31, about 16 weeks. Based on his annual salary of $121,617, Zisoff would be paid about $37,400 during that time. After Zisoff’s paid leave ends on May 31, the city will pay him for any accumulated unused vacation days and will then pay Zisoff’s severance package equal to one year’s salary, whch the council had agreed to in December of 2011. The agreement does not specify how much vacation time Zisoff has earned. He also will receive family health insurance until the end of the severance package, according to the agreement. The council also appointed Jean Furler, Indianola finance and administrative services director, to be interim city manager until the Feb. 21 City Council meeting. Furler had been handling Zisoff’s responsibilities since Feb. 10. The agreement states that Zisoff agrees to release any claims that he has or may claim to have had against the city of Indianola. The agreement also requires both parties to “treat each other with respect and professional courtesy and to refrain from making derogatory comments about one another.” Zisoff joined the city as administrative assistant in 1979 and was named city manager in 1987.

Lexington, Oklahoma (population 2,152): Lexington City Manager Jason Orr resigned in the city’s special council meeting February 6, which was scheduled to discuss his employment in light of a misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse, according to The Norman Transcript. Orr’s resignation was effective February 10. He remained on paid administrative leave until that time. The city also will pay Orr for a week of vacation time, which his contract entitles him to. The city is planning a special meeting tonight, at which time an interim city manager will be named. Lexington police charged Orr, who had been city manager for two weeks, with a misdemeanor count of domestic abuse and arrested him at 11:21 p.m. Jan. 27 from his Lexington home in the 500 block of East Broadway Street. Orr is accused of striking his wife and grabbing her arms, pushing her and head-butting her. This occurred after the couple had an argument over who should take a phone call, according to the probable cause affidavit.

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