Council’s 3-2 Vote to Fire Manager Released, Reveals How Members Voted

The Turlock City Council voted 3-2 to fire the Turlock City Manager at the time, Tim Kerr. The closed session vote was unknown until the minutes were approved because no Council Member would reveal how they voted.

Citizens of Turlock have been asking about the vote to fire Tim Kerr as City Manager and have been wanting to know who voted for what, and why, etc. Well, the “why” will not be explained in this article but the vote will now be revealed.

 

It is now known that Vice Mayor Ted Howze, Council Members Kurt Spycher and Amy Bublak voted to fire Tim Kerr as the Turlock City Manager. Mayor John Lazar and Council Member Mary Jackson disagreed.

 

Mayor John Lazar has remained the most vocal about the decision but only through statements reflecting the entire Council. He has acknowledged the Council’s split vote and admits that they agree to disagree.

 

Councilwoman Mary Jackson continues to stay tight-lipped about the action but has stated that as a newly elected Council Member, she didn’t feel like she had enough time to evaluate her City Manager after only one meeting while upholding her elected position as an independent and open-minded Council Member.

 

Councilwomen Mary Jackson and Amy Bublak had been part of the council for only one meeting previous to the one where they voted whether to fire Tim Kerr or not.

 

City Manager Tim Kerr Fired by Turlock City Council:

 

The majority of the Turlock City Council Members including Kurt Spycher, Mary Jackson, Vice Mayor Ted Howze, and Turlock Mayor John Lazar all respectfully returned calls inquiring about their vote to fire Turlock City Manager Tim Kerr.

 

Councilwoman Amy Bublak did not return the message left inquiring about the action that had taken place.

 

Vice Mayor Ted Howze said “We all agreed that the Mayor would be the ONLY person authorized to speak on the issue.”

 

Council Members Kurt Spycher and Mary Jackson both nicely said that they wanted to respect a decision that was made in respects to authorizing only Mayor Lazar to comment on the entire Council’s behalf.

 

The Turlock City Council had a closed door session after their Tuesday, January 13, 2009 regular Turlock City Council Meeting. A performance evaluation of Tim Kerr was included on their agenda.

 

The Turlock City Council voted to fire Tim Kerr at about 11:30 pm. The voting details remained unknown until after the January 13, 2009 Turlock City Council Meeting minutes were approved at January 27, 2009 Council Meeting.

 

Tim Kerr said that he was put on a 30 day paid administrative leave and then the city would honor his contract and will receive a severance package worth nine months of salary and benefits.

 

Mayor John Lazar commented on the decision as the Council’s “spokesman” saying “The City Council made significant management changes last night. We have scheduled a special meeting tomorrow (Thursday) to select an interim city manager. I can guarantee you as Mayor that the City Council will make sure we have the kind of leadership Turlock needs in these challenging times. The City Council must have one agenda and that’s Turlock’s agenda. I am committed to working toward this goal.”

 

Kerr said that he respects the Council’s decision and that firing him is their prerogative.

Tim Kerr is leaving, but not without having kind words to say about Turlock in general.

 

 “I wish the Council and community all the best,” said Kerr. “Turlock is a great community and a fabulous organization. Turlock treated me very well.”

 

Tim Kerr is already fielding calls about some employment, considering which directions he go, but really just taking a brief time off.

 

Kerr has been the City Manager for Livingston, Ceres, and Turlock.

 

The Turlock City Council held a closed session meeting on January 15th where they voted to appoint Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton as Interim City Manager.

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