The Thursday March 18th meeting of the Vector Control District appeared on the surface to be your regular run-of-the-mill meeting; nothing special and certainly nothing as exciting as the termination of the District’s Manager Gerard Goedhart.
The only hint of something special was this:
12. CLOSED SESSION:
Public Employee Evaluation (Gov. Code § 54957)
Title: District Manager
Conference with Labor Negotiator to Discuss Terms of Employment, Separation, and Retirement
Benefits (Gov. Code § 54957.6(a))
Goedhart OC Vector Control District Terminates District Manager
It seems that Mr. Goedhart had not been happy with the way things were going at the district. On March 15th he sent a letter to the president and Board of Directors announcing his intent to resign in 13 months unless several demands were addressed by the board.
He outlined seven points of contention between him and the board, specifically some individual members and the board’s Operations Committee. Goedhart’s grievances had taken place over the past 5 months and had not been resolved to his satisfaction.
In his letter Goedhart wrote; “the best solution to this situation is a negotiated settlement. I have give President Anderson a list of demands to settle this matter on an amicable basis.” I’m not going to detail Goedhart’s demands, rather I will simply say that the number one thing a District Manager should remember is that he or she works for the board, and not the other way around.
The Board seems to have taken that same position. Regardless of the merit of Goedhart’s complaints, the district board decided that they would not be backed into a corner by someone who works for them. They chose to exercise their option in Mr. Goedhart’s contract to provide him with six months notice of no-fault termination. My guess is that if Mr. Goedhart’s deputy had not just recently left the district, they would have let him go immediately and paid the six months salary as severance.
There was some collateral damage from the meeting. It seems the Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones got inexplicably frustrated with the proceedings and stormed out of the meeting quitting on the spot.