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10/2/2013 6:17:00 PM
Blythe City Manager David Lane retires effective Oct. 14
Lane is on voluntary administrative leave until Oct. 14

BLYTHE - After five years as Blythe City Manager, David Lane retired through a "mutual agreement" the city council approved in a 3-2 vote Wednesday.

The council named City Clerk Mallory Sutterfield interim city manager until Oct. 14 when the council will review the issue.

The mutual agreement the council approved -- with Mayor Oscar Galvan, Vice Mayor Sam Patel and Mike Evans voting in favor and Councilmen Wayne Cusick and Joseph DeConnick opposed - will pay Lane "a single lump sum payment of $182,000, together with payment for accrued vacation and sick leave (amount to be determined, but estimated by the parties as being +/- $75,000) within 14 days of execution of this agreement."

A later sentence in the six-page document says that for city budgeting purposes, "the City insists that $91,000 of the amount owed to Lane will be paid on or before Feb. 1, 2014 due to the anticipated receipt of property tax allocation from the county by that date.

For his part, Lane agrees to retire effective the close of business on Oct. 14, but "effective with the close of business on Oct. 2, 2013 Lane will utilize accrued administrative leave through Oct. 14, 2013."

It further stipulates that Lane must have his belongings removed from City Hall and turn in his city-issued cell phone by Oct. 14.

Lane also waives any other claims or rights under his employment agreement and will not file any lawsuits. Both parties agree not to make any disparaging comments about the other for two years.

"The city council and David Lane came to a fairly mutual agreement," said Galvan. "No further comment, and everything else is public record."

The council called a special 10 a.m. meeting Wednesday and went immediately into closed session before emerging at 12:15 p.m. to vote on the agreement.

The notice of the meeting called for a closed session for "Public Employee Performance Evaluation (City Manager)."

After the closed session with no report from the council, the next and last agenda item under New Business was for "Employment Retirement Agreement between the City of Blythe and David Lane."

Before the vote Cusick addressed several of his concerns by asking Finance Director Frank Luckino where the city was going to get the approximate $250,000 from to pay Lane.

"I just don't know how we are going to pay," said Cusick. "During my time on the council, I questioned the propriety of entering into an agreement with a virtual $250,000 when we don't know where the money would be coming from."

Lucino said that the current city budget apportioned for Lane's salary through June 30, 2014.

"The cash strain for the city will hit in late December or early January," said Luckino. "We will have to extend our payables to 45 days instead of 30."

"We are hoping that our tax projections for the first quarter come true," said Cusick.

Cusick and DeConinck sit on the city's Budget and Finance Committee.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in City Hall Chambers, 235 N. Broadway. On the agenda are Community Center repair progress report, allocation of the 2014 Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG), and adoption of the addendum to the Laborers' Unit MOU.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: @ Leaving on a fast train


Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: Phantom Nose

Joey D is a good guy without a mean or dishonest bone in his body. I suspect he would have quietly worked on the Community Center, just as he has and does quietly work on other projects that benefit Blythe and the Palo Verde a Valley.

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: @Are You

Gee, isn't that just swell! Mr. Deconninck "paid" for repairs on the center! In a small town like Blythe, If one wants to get his magnanimous gift in the paper, they have to be INFORMED of the event. They cannot read their minds, you know. And he got Jimmy Burrows? Isn't he related to another Burrows under the employee of the council? Interesting. Why didn't good ole' Joey do that months ago, way before an election? Hmmmmm. Pardon but your agenda and purpose are showing.

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: @ Are you Kidding

It appears you have no concept of what a City Councilman's responsibilities are.
They are to set policy, it is the duties of the City Manager to run the City. That has not been happening so it is time to find someone new who will.
Councilman do not do payroll, assign duties to public works or even design a budget (they approve the budget).

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: Are you Kidding

Good and decent men? Perhaps, but no experience in running a city, meeting a payroll, management experience a big 0. Come on now, liking someone or disliking them does not a good manager make. Guess no one told you that Joey D. took Jimmy Burrows over to the community center and at his own expense did repairs to the building. Where was that photo op?

Posted: Monday, October 7, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe Potential

To: "Was a nice town.." and "Evans..."
"Accomplishments" is in the eye of the beholder. Galvan, Patel, and Evans are good men. They may not be "businessmen", but what matters most, in my book, is that they are decent men, honorable men. And they are adults, something that the others lack, and it shows. The "others" work on spite, they don't meet out at the college to plan their activities. They hopefully will be joined by another clean man, Tim Wade. Then, watch out for Blythe! We gonna be a Phoenix Bird, and rise out of the desert! We'll have potholes filled, we'll have the Senior Center fixed, and maybe, all will put their heads together, we can get that theater back up and running again so our kids (and adults) can go to a movie, and don't have to wait until it comes on TV. Your eyes have been opened, Blythe, now don't settle down into apathy again, or the powers will run you over again.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: was a nice town at one time long ago

What a sad time for our city, when long time residents like Oscar and Sam sell us out for their own causes. Is the REC and not having a bed tax worth it gentlemen? You are not operating on your dollars but wasting ours! Not sure that I have ever had a converstion with David Lane, but he seems to have lowered our debt. Is this really about wanting a man who is not well to be the Chief of Police? I thought more of the Wade family.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: Evans is not what we want or need

Where is the businessman in this line up? Clearly not Oscar Galvan, no to Mike Evans and Sam Patel ,nothing to brag about. These men just killed what was left of this city. Sam let his buddy at the Hampton Inn get out of paying 100,000.00 of bed tax. It is true, just look it up. Galvan is a nice guy that is letting Sam direct him and Evans is a (deleted) supporter with all of his bad habits and does not even own property here.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: its about time

Never earned a dime of his pay, worth every dime too see him gone.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: too leaving on a fast train

There are 3 highways going, just pick one.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Franklin

Do ya think after he gets his check he will be laughing all the way to the bank?

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: Leaving on a fast train Losers

Shame on Galvan, Patel and Evans for this vote! What a waste of money. Lane's contract was up in six months. Talk about egos running and ruining a town, these three have no clue as to how to pay this needless debt or how to fund a new manager. (deleted) and now these three have put us back years in making progress. Ashamed to say this is were I live. And poor Wade looks like he is being lead by the nose by his brother. I want out!

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: I Like Blythe

Its too bad Blythe had to pay Lane to leave, but that is part of the deal. As mentioned above now we need Smith to follow Lane out of town and vote in someone who will stand up for our city like Tim Wade. I think the city is also very lucky to have someone intelligent and local like Mallory Sutterfield who has and can take Lane's spot with ease and continue with the job for years to come serving our city well.

Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jose Cuervo

I need a job that pays me $250k for riding into the sunset

Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013
Article comment by: i've got the blues

When you say Evans has done more for this town are you referring to the epic fail he called Blues Fest that he demanded the city fund?????

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