By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Performance of Manteca’s city manager being questioned
Wells Toby
Toby Wells, who left Ceres as city manager in March 2020 for Turlock, may be out of a job.

Apparently there is an issue with Manteca City Manager Toby Wells.

The Manteca City Council is meeting tonight at 6 o’clock in a closed door session for the purpose of an employee performance valuation of the city manager. The item is listed as “evaluation/discipline/dismissal/release” on the agenda.

State law requires elected bodies to list the topics they will discuss away from the public. Closed door sessions are allowed for negotiations, existing and potential litigation, as well as evaluation of personnel. If the discussion may stray into the subject of discipline, dismissal, or release that must be listed on the agenda as well.

On Tuesday, as an example, there was a closed door performance evaluation of City Attorney David Nefouse during a special meeting prior to the regular meeting. It listed no more than it being a performance evaluation. When the council returned to open session it was announced the attorney’s base salary was being increased from $219,460 to $230,424 a year.

The 6 p.m. meeting at the council chambers will allow public comments at the start. Then after coming out of closed session there will be an announcement of any reportable action that took place behind closed doors followed by city manager and council comments.

Wells is expected to return from Monterey to be at the meeting. Wells has been at the Monterey Hyatt Regency where he has been attending a three-day conference for city managers staged by the league of California Cities since Wednesday.

Some of the topics at the conference included “make your city attorney your best friend”, “a tale of three cities regarding partnerships and programs for the unhoused”, “combatting disinformation on social media”, “creating a culture of equity” and economic outlooks among other subjects.

When Wells was hired in September for $230,000 a year he became Manteca’s sixth city manager in six years.

The city is still in litigation with Wells’ “permanent” predecessor Miranda Lutzow who resigned a year ago this month. She did not receive severance pay per the terms of her contract. Lutzow subsequently sued contending she was the victim of a hostile work environment.

Given the city manager runs the city day-to-day and there was no bureaucrat that she answered to, Lutzow’s allegations are apparently directed at the City Council.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email