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City manager can’t be fired for another 55 days based on contract

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POSTED December 13, 2016 12:23 a.m.

Whatever the status of Manteca City Manager Elena Reyes, one thing is for sure — she can’t be terminated until after Feb. 6, 2017.
That’s because the contract she signed states the city manager can’t be terminated during the 90-day period before or after a City Council election.
The contract allows for her termination without cause only by an affirmative four-fifths vote of the City Council. If she is terminated while still willing and able to perform the duties of city manager she will receive a lump sum payment equal to 12 months of her salary. Her annual salary is $191,800.
Reyes was placed on paid and administrative leave by the City Council on Nov. 29. Mayor Steve DeBrum at the time declined any comment as to why correctly noting it is personnel matter.
That said, an investigation into her inter-reactions with city employees is now in the process of wrapping up.
Should Reyes be terminated without cause or for cause, any final check will likely include $43,800 for accrued vacation and sick leave.
Even though Reyes has only been on the job for less than five months, the contract the council approved allowed Reyes to start with 240 hours of accrued sick leave hours, and 160 hours of accrued vacation hours. In addition, on the day she started— based on contract language — she started “accruing sick leave and vacation leave on a monthly basis, at a minimum, at the highest rate provided or available to other employees, under the same rules and provisions applicable to the most senior Executive Management.”
That translates into accruing 15.3 hours of vacation each month. She also is entitled to 120 hours of administrative leave for each year of the contract.
It’s been 20 years since a Manteca City Council last put a city manager on paid administrative leave. By coincidence, it also was in the month of November. It took the council at that time close to three months to decide whether to keep Dave Jinkens or to part ways.

Moving closer to
fourth interchange
along 120 Bypass
The Manteca City Council is moving closer to a rare feat — four interchanges spaced exactly a mile apart along the 120 Bypass.
Last week the council put in place an administrative process and relocation of displaced person in connection with obtaining 47.78 acres to create an interchange at McKinley Avenue on the 120 Bypass.
One parcel has been obtained for $367,431. That leaves the need to acquire parts of 124 properties and full acquisition of 16 parcels. Of those, 27 are privately owned and three are owned by the City of Manteca.
There is $16.1 million set aside to obtain the remaining right of way.
The overall cost of the interchange is $40.1 million. Construction is targeted to start in November of 2018 with completion anticipated by December 2020.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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