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    Los Alamitos Hires Former LB City Mgr. Taboada As Interim City Mgr. During Job Search

    (August 20, 2004) -- has learned that the City of Los Alamitos has hired former LB City Manager Henry Taboada to serve as its interim City Manager while a permanent replacement is found for Los Al's City Manager Robert Dominguez...who's exiting to become Placentia's City Manager.

    The short announcement came following an August 16 closed session of the Los Alamitos City Council, said Los Alamitos City Clerk Susan Vanderpool.

    Ms. Vanderpool said it's expected the job search for a permanent Los Alamitos City Manager could take roughly four to six months. Mr. Taboada's contract and pay rate were not immediately available.

    Mr. Taboada is scheduled to begin his Los Al duties on August 25.

    Mr. Taboada's career with the City of LB spanned more than thirty years, culminating with his ascension to City Manager in 1999 (from Assistant City Manager on the retirement of City Manager Jim Hankla). That ended in fall 2002 for reasons never stated publicly by City Hall officialdom.

    On September 4, 2002, after a three and a half hour closed Council session convened on 24 hours notice, LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill said Councilmembers had "evaluated and deliberated on the performance of Henry Taboada as City Manager. During the course of the deliberations, Mr. Taboada was offered an opportunity to voluntarily retire on or before December 31st. He declined that offer and the Council resumed deliberation"...and voted to dismiss Mr. Taboada.

    The Mayor did not cite a reason for the Council's action and City Attorney Bob Shannon told no reason would be given.

    In November 2001, Councilmembers voted (6-1, Baker dissenting, Grabinski exiting roughly 45 minutes before vote, reappearing 60 seconds thereafter) to raise Mr. Taboada's salary to $199,500 (including deferred compensation) with several members offering effusive praise for him.

    In September 2001 (after Sept. 11/01), the LB City Council voted to increase City Hall spending in FY 02...the period leading up to the 2002 city elections for five Council districts, the Mayor and City Auditor. During this period, LB city management agendized several memos detailing the Council's deficit spending (covered by tapping one-time revenue) but no Councilmembers moved reopen the budget or reexamine spending.

    In the April and June 2002 LB elections, Mayor O'Neill and Council incumbents were reelected. In July 2002, Councilmembers voted to raise many city employee pensions. In August 2002, City Manager Taboada (and Mayor O'Neill) unveiled a proposed City Hall budget that included a deficit beyond previous levels...the deficit about which Mr. Taboada and his staff had forewarned.

    LB City Hall (with the Council's coming budget vote in September) is now about to enter the second year of a Three Year financial strategy to tame that deficit.

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