Mayor John Buchanan said, "It is with great sadness that we accept John's resignation. He has been an extraordinary leader of our City and a tireless public servant. He has been instrumental in shaping Sierra Madre's future and moving us forward into the 21st century, achieving measurable results, and focusing on what's best for our community. John possesses the combination of experience, enthusiasm and management ability that has served the City and the community above all of our expectations. We all wish him well and know he will be successful in all of his future endeavors."
"I believe Sierra Madre has had one of the best City Manager's in its history," Mayor Pro Tem Enid Joffe said. "John has always approached his duties with a combination of integrity, knowledge, leadership, vision, passion, creativity, urgency, and plain hard work. Together with the members of his department, to whom he is always quick to credit, he has constructed a modern, problem-solving work force that is second to none."
This inSierraMadre.com article also lauded some of Gillison's achievements while serving as Sierra Madre's City Manager.
Since joining Sierra Madre in 2005, John has been responsible for implementation of the City's paramedic program, the purchase of a new community pocket-park envisioned by the City for over 20 years, arranging the purchase of the Sierra Madre Community Nursery School property by the School and the construction of the City's first Senior Housing Project.
I believe it was also around this time that Sierra Madre became an All America City, an achievement that is still celebrated on the City of Sierra Madre's website, its stationary and official documents, plus small signs around town. It was also during his relatively brief tenure that the Downtown Specific Plan was hatched, an event that later led to Measure V and downtown land use arrangements that still enrage some while delighting others. Obviously John Gillison left a significant mark on this town.
On March 30, 2007 Gillison left our town to become the Deputy City Manager of Rancho Cucamonga. Later, upon the retirement of the City Manager there, John stepped up to assume the responsibilities of the position. He now runs that city on behalf of its elected officials, who come and go.
So I cannot help but wonder what our former Mayors cited above would care to think of John Gillison's rather hard nosed solution to budgeting for part time employee health care costs in Rancho Cucamonga. Even though Sierra Madre has its own miserly arrangements for part time employees, I am not certain that such labor friendly politicians as John Buchanan and Enid Joffe would ever approve of using hours cutting Wal*Mart style tactics were they ever proposed here.
Check this out from the Daily Bulletin (link):
Rancho Cucamonga may reduce part-time hours to avoid health care costs - The new city budget proposal for the coming year recommends reduced hours for part-time employees in order to avoid additional healthcare costs associated with a new federal health care requirement under the Affordable Care Act.
In order to meet the requirement, the city would have to provide a benefit of $400 per month to employees who work 30 hours or more and potentially an additional group who work between 26 and 30 hours per week. Cost of funding health care under the new mandate for the city could be as high as $355,000 annually, according to the report.
Penalty for the city not paying the health care cost is estimated at about $940,000.
As an alternative, city manager John Gillison's budget proposal recommends the reduction of most part-time employee hours below the minimum average of 30 hours per week and hiring new part-time employees to make up for the lost labor. Cost for this plan is estimated at about $155,000.
"It will cost us a little bit more, but that's cheaper by a significant amount than paying for the health care costs," said Gillison.
Somehow I do not think Mayor Nancy Walsh or Mayor Pro Tem* John Harabedian will be inviting John Gillison here to speak about his health care cost solutions anytime soon.
More stuff from inSierraMadre.com
I had forgotten all about iSM.com until I stumbled across it late last night looking for material about John Gillison. There are some rather poignant things to be found on that site. This from March 4, 2007:
Recall Update - Sierra Madre Councilman Joe Mosca filed an answer, as required by law, to a recall notice delivered to him Sunday, Feb. 18, during his “office hours” in Kersting Court.
He delivered his formal response to City Clerk Nancy Shollenberger and petitioner Leslie Hinton on Thursday, March 1, the same day the recall notice was published in the town’s paper of record, MVN News.
He said at the City Council meeting Feb. 27 that the allegations in the notice of were “meritless.” More than 100 people stood silently in support of him.
In his formal reply, he spelled out the reasons the claims in the notice had no basis.
“I supported and still support a public vote on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP). In fact, the City Council voted unanimously to support my resolution calling for more public input and a public vote in November after the DSP is complete. An initiative interrupted that process, and now a recall could appear on the November ballot instead of the DSP.
“I continue to support responsible development and oppose overdevelopment. While I am one of the three newly elected council members, I vote independently after thoroughly studying the issues, listening to all sides and working through the information in discussion with fellow council members.
“I also volunteer in many local events and participate in community affairs beyond our borders. For example, as the City’s member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, I fought and won the battle to save our bus service from cuts. During my tenure, the City has successfully lobbied for more funds and grants, and pushed for the first financial audit in three years. In addition, we now have paramedic services, stronger protection of our hillside and an emergency layer of protection for our water services.
“I have kept my campaign promise to work to preserve Sierra Madre and I will fight recall.”
Proponents now have 10 days to file the proposed recall form with the city clerk. She and the city attorney have another 10 days to approve the form before collection of signatures can begin. If successful, the recall would be on the ballot in November 2007.
Come to think of it, has anybody seen Joe lately? Shouldn't he still be around here somewhere, working just as hard as ever to "preserve Sierra Madre?"
Somebody check Bean Town.