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The Los Altos Hills Town Council has issued the following joint statement.

The Los Altos Hills Town Council is nearing the completion of its annual performance review for its city manager. The Town Council has unanimously agreed that it is in the best interest of the Town to have Peter Pirnejad continue to serve in his role as city manager.

The Town Council hired a consultant to oversee the review and gather input from council members, committee chairs and employees and to listen to residents. The evaluation was thorough, comprehensive and took time. The Council takes its job of evaluation seriously and did not rush. Our commitment to thoroughness and not commenting until the work was completed led to speculation, assumptions and even false assertions.

Now that the evaluation is complete, it is time to clear the air on some issues that have been brought up. Staff turnover has been higher than we would like, but the statistics of staff that had left included interns, planned retirements, employees that were terminated because they were found not to be a good fit during their probation period and an employee that was terminated for just cause. There were also employees who left because of the cost of living in the area or because they received better offers. The Town Council and city manager have been seriously looking at the causes of staff turnover and staff retention and what can be done to keep our highly qualified and productive staff members. Because of confidentiality requirements, personnel issues are not shared beyond those with the need to know. Highly qualified staff replacements have been hired, and we are looking forward to a productive year.

When Dr. Pirnejad was hired, the circumstances surrounding the termination of his contract with Foster City were known and investigated and found not to be disqualifying. The Town Council felt that he was the most qualified for the job and would be an asset to the Town.

Under his leadership, Los Altos Hills was the third City in the County to have its Housing Element certified by the state, ahead of the May 31, 2023 deadline. It was a huge accomplishment that helped to prevent more Builder’s Remedy development projects from being submitted to the Town. These would have been projects in which the Town would have almost no control over the size or location of the developments. Some cities in the County have yet to have their Housing Elements certified. In addition, the Town’s SB 9 ordinance was adopted to replace the emergency ordinance put into place earlier. The city manager and the staff worked incredibly hard last year to accomplish work that larger towns were unable to complete.

As is to be expected, the evaluation identified areas of improvement to be implemented to increase the management effectiveness and staff performance in the coming year. The Town looks forward to improving security and services, such as the time required for building permits and inspections, to the residents and building on its accomplishments in the coming year.