San Clemente City Manager James Makshanoff will leave the city effective Jan. 17 and will take on the same role for the city of Pomona, where he is expected to start Jan. 21.
The official announcement from Makshanoff came Tuesday, Dec. 17 during the San Clemente City Council meeting, when Mayor Dan Bane read Makshanoff’s letter of acquiescence. Makshanoff did not attend the meeting.
” It came as a startle ,” said Bane, who said he received an email from Makshanoff Dec. 12 announcing that the city of Pomona had offered him the job.
” I didn’t expect him to leave ,” Bane said.” His contract simply automatically refreshed. I would have thought we would have heard something then. This is an impactful departure .”
The Pomona City Council elected unanimously to hire Makshanoff at its meeting Monday, Dec. 16.
” It was not an easy decision for me and I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me in September 2014 ,” Makshanoff wrote.” I expressed appreciation for entrusting with me the position of city manager. San Clemente is an impressive community with great residents and unequaled organization will be devoted to obligating San Clemente a great city .”
His departure comes as San Clemente domiciles homelessness challenges and budgetary concerns, tries to keep the Transportation Corridor Agency from running the toll road through the town’s center, and to continue efforts to get the city’s unoccupied hospice operating again.
Makshanoff, apparently among the highest paid city managers in South Orange County, was on a two-year rolling contract that was set to expire in November 2021. He payed $278,244 in 2018.
Just a year ago, tenants parcelled appeals chamber during a November City Council meeting to protest a proposal to add a six-month severance extension to Makshanoff’s revived contract, which once provided for a year of severing pay.
Prior to that convene, practically 600 residents had signed an online petition to stop the severance extension. They deplored that with the city dealing with homelessness, public safety needs and costs associated with fighting TCA over the toll road, compensating more to Makshanoff would be irresponsible.
Brad Malamut, who has lived in San Clemente for 25 years, was among those protesting a year ago. On Tuesday, he showed hope for the future.
” I think it’s opportunities to come new handling for the city ,” he said.” I still think we have some cleaning house to do but this is a good start. I suppose a town our length needs proactive leader. We need to look at increasing revenue and cutting costs. We need to manage the budget better so the sheriff becomes a priority. We demand a city manager who participates more in parliament fulfills. He merely sets there and doesn’t look at speakers .”
Makshanoff came to San Clemente in 2014 from Azusa, where he also was city manager.
In San Clemente, he is credited with being instrumental in the crackdown on sober living home breaches and vacation rentals, developing a plan to keep the hospital should the city be able to attract a new adventurer, naturalness the changeover to the new City Hall and launching the summer trolley. He also was integral in creating a team to fight TCA on the toll road extension.
” He follows the direction of the council majority ,” Bane said.” It’s easy for folks to take a step back and criticize. He done a good job. His tenure for five years is a lot for any one person to do .”
Makshanoff did take some smashes during his stint.
In 2018, the City council, as one of the purposes of his act inspect, accepted there were issues between Makshanoff and city the workers and recommended he work to improve that. In a 2017 work sketch, municipal faculty accused Makshanoff and Assistant City Manager Erik Sund of negatively impacting hire morale by demonstrating a lack of respect and price in employees.
In October, onetime metropolitan hire Margaret Hamer — hired in 2000 as a recreation professional — sued the city alleging age discrimination, reprisal for reporting, discrimination in violation of public policy and purposeful infliction of feelings distress.
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Makshanoff and Sund are worded in the lawsuit in which Hamer claims they” engaged in an illegal, systemic and permeating expedition to drive out the city’s older workers .” The lawsuit also is of the view that as countless as 60 city workers were driven out because of age-related discrimination in the past three to four years.
Residents likewise have been critical of Makshanoff on social media.
” Being a city manager is non-stop disapproval ,” Bane said.” It all takes a toll and can affect your ability to do your work. You can never totally turn off the noise .”
The City Council will start discussing its plans, Jan. 17, for hiring a brand-new city manager. That could include hiring a consultant to help with a national search.
” We’ll firstly likely search for an interim ,” Bane said.” There’s a possibility we could bring back a onetime city manager in the interim — someone that knows the city .”
Read more: ocregister.com.