Jun122017

Munchheimer on the Move

Marysville City Manager (CM) Walter Munchheimer emailed his notice of ‘retirement’ the day after the council rejected on a 4-1 vote, his paying a headhunting firm $22,000. The County of Yuba offered instead to find a Finance Director for $2,000. Munchheimer already hired the firm with $25,000 to fill the Community Services position. Now, the city council has 3 slots to fill. Munchheimer will be gone by October 31.

Munchheimer, if remembered, it will be for costing taxpayers. He launched a Bounce Back (BB) economic plan with a Blue Ribbon Committee of citizens that never had any bounce, though spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. Remember the outside consultant that was to present a BB report after months of waiting? When the CM called to set the presentation date, the fellow never got around to doing the work. The bid winner then found a friend to complete the contract. Is there a new shelf to hold that report?

And, there was the Measure W Sales Tax Increase Measure, the one that failed. The city was touting being broke. The CM in the middle of the propaganda campaign bought three thousand dollars of new furniture for his office. When they went to furlough Fridays to save money the citizens realized they really didn’t need a fulltime administration after all. Hold that thought.

Munchheimer considered the city council’s directives as suggestions and basically did his own thing. The council in turn lacked the ‘Spauldings’ to hold him accountable. Under his management philosophy the city stopped enforcing basic decency laws allowing the place to become a sanctuary of vagrants.

The CM took no responsibility for those working under him as the Community Services Director decided to stop completing quarterly reports to the Department of Water Resources, twelve of them. The state fined Marysville $3 million. The new sales tax increase that finally passed brings in at most $1.5 million annually to “save police and fire?” The city has holes in its pockets.

The multi-million dollar street and drainage overhaul at 12th and J languished though the city had a grant and borrowed $700,000 from the county with interest and a $7,000 administration fee. No explanation for this blunder either.

Though city and county residents voted twice against marijuana dispensaries the CM and the council forged ahead to ‘save’ the city by taxing the sale of bud. The process of soliciting and vetting dispensary operators was an ethical and legal fiasco replete with violations of the Brown Act and city ordinances, crony capitalism and pay to play. The council is still ditching ordinances and cancelled a June 8 appeal on the dispensary decision to get the rules to comply with their decisions.

It’s a shame the average business doesn’t get this type of coddling. The city wouldn’t have any vacant buildings left.

Recently the city has been making gifts of public funds in the ‘spirit of helping businesses.’ However, just certain people are getting hand-outs. In most places that’s illegal.

One slice of Lemon Street worth $28,000 according to Councilmember Whitmore was donated, not sold to the auto company moving to Tenth and H. Then, $30,000 of rent was forgiven Armstrong Racing since their track was flooded in Riverfront Park this winter.

The Motocross contract specifically says the lessee rented the property knowing the state manages water levels and the city was not liable for flooding. Exhibit B Winter Operation Policy spends more than a page dictating Motocross responsibilities when the water rises. Item 27 of the contract explains the city would not suffer in the case of a loss of business when the facility is inoperable.

Furthermore, most enterprises carry insurance for business interruption and loss from disaster. The Motocross is in effect renting the property for a year around fee though only wanting to pay for the favorable months.

The city’s law firm of Rich, Fuidge, Lane and Bordsen on retainer for nearly $10,000 a month signed and probably drafted the contract. However, the firm’s attorney gave no input according to council members as they voted to give away the public’s revenue.

Since the council will make a decision about 3 administrative positions maybe the legal contract should go out for bid as well. Sometimes service providers become too comfortable and lack the diligence that a new firm may have.

Munchheimer’s high performance scored a raise recently that will reward him with greater retirement benefits. And so goes the world of public employees.

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