Council Member Speaks Out!
About City Manager's Treatment
People of Barstow deserve a response to the separation of the former City Manager Hector Rodriguez, not speculation.
I don’t care if you live in an at-will state in which you can terminate anyone at any time, it is still immoral to fire people without helping them understand what they need to improve and providing the opportunity to do so.
Hector did not get fired, although the Mayor told me he wanted him dismissed and tried to call an emergency closed session meeting to terminate his contract sometime during the month of September, which I strongly opposed.
We have lost a good city manager, who cared about Barstow and the citizens in this community. He took the moral high ground because he is a man with integrity.
To understand how our local government works and my personal opinions of Mayor Lawrence Dale's management style, I felt it necessary to express thoughts in writing.
Barstow is a General Law city . It is the role of the mayor and council to serve as stewards of the city and to establish policy for the city. It is the city manager’s role, along with the support of city staff to implement the policies established by the mayor and council.
In some ways it is part of a system of checks and balances.
The mayor of Barstow isn’t bestowed with powers like the mayor of Los Angeles or New York . The people of Barstow haven’t given the mayor that kind of control.
Consider the following: Since the Mayor took office in 2000, Barstow has had six city managers. Since 2003 Barstow has had four city managers. That’s like having a new city manager every year. That kind of turn over signals deep-rooted systemic problems at City Hall.
And it doesn’t stop there — the turnover among the city’s senior managers and police officers have been equally alarming.
Think about it:
• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need for the mayor or members of this council to meddle behind the scenes in the business of city staff.
• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need for the mayor to convene so many closed-door City Council meetings.
• If things are on the up and up, there’s no need to schedule so many council meetings during the work day when people can’t attend the meetings or outside of our regularly scheduled Monday night Council meetings.
When the independent council majority appointed Hector Rodriguez as city manager in 2006, Mayor Dale opposed us. The mayor was furious!
Since Hector Rodriguez was appointed city manager more than 18 months ago, the mayor has worked behind the scenes to undo the previous council’s decision and undermined Hector’s success and decision-making.
Earlier this year the Mayor tried to dismiss Hector but there was an outpouring of support from the community for Hector. So instead the Mayor has worked behind the scenes to get rid of Hector.
Recognize that Hector wasn’t the mayor’s guy. And if you’re not the mayor’s guy, you’re not going to be in a job for very long.
This past year, the mayor fought against Hector’s choice for police chief and tried to undermine that recommendation. Chief Burns has proven in a short period that Mr. Rodriguez made great choice by hiring her.
When the mayor wanted his friends at Micromedia Filtration to take over the $15 million contract for the sewer treatment facility, he fought against Hector and the concerns of key city staff.
Now we’re back to business as usual.
Mayor Dale has a hungry, unhealthy appetite for control and leverage over the council and over those who manage things at City Hall and in our police department. Anyone who crosses the mayor or his friends, or who is independent in thought, seals their fate; including myself.
Micromanagement of city staff has kept Barstow from moving forward since the Millennium. At best, Barstow has stood still the last seven years. For every step forward, there’s been a step or two back.
At the root of the stagnation is a mayor’s leadership style that is holding Barstow back.
There’s something suspicious about elected leadership that prefers to meet behind closed doors and has to rule with such an iron fist.
He poses the management style of a dictator or director; I compare Mayor Dale’s management style to Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders.
That can’t be in the best interests of the people of Barstow. And after the last seven years, the people of Barstow are smart enough to see that.
About This Article
About This Article
Barstow Citizen - Finally, someone who has spoken the truth. If you doubt the information, go ahead and read it for yourself. Enrich your mind of all that is happening in Barstow.
I am not a Hector fan, but I agree that the mayor was running the show. Why is it that we have had so many city managers? Maybe we should ask Mayor Dale, he runs the show remember?
Why are there so many brown act violations Mayor and city councilmen. Please dont act like we dont see you in the restaurants. Remember this is Barstow, everyone talks and better yet most folks have camera phones. Smile cause you have been caught.
I would like Joe Gomez to run for city council again. We need good people involved to ensure that us Barstow Citizens dont get the short end of the stick.
316 - Dale has got to go his Mason brothers all intimidate people they are just like gang members if they don't get what they want they pressure or intimidate you they should be treated just like gang members lets have a mason sweep and press gang enhancement charges
Jeffrey - It is good that someone has come forward with what has been going on in the past couple of months at City Hall.
I also see that every comment appears to have been deleted by the "good old boy" crowd defending this corrupt administration.
Your censorship will not go un-noticed. At any rate, it would be a great idea if more people in the know would come forward and expose the current administration for the crooks they definitely are.
The more information brought to the public the better. Of course the goon squad on the right will always try to censor the truth, but the truth will still prevail in the end.
Rock Hound - Mr. Gomez's honesty is appreciated. Barstow needs honest leadership.
Robert Silva - Watch for Mayor Dale and his local attack dogs to go after Joe Gomez.
The good old boyz who meet down at Purdy's Garage will not stand for this sort of exposure of the truth.
Before you know it, they will start trying to tar and feather Councilman Gomez with their unfounded rumors and innuendo.
Whatever allegations you hear from the good old boyz about other people, you can assume those are actually the dirty deeds that Mayor Dale and the good old boyz are up to themselves.
Ask them for the proof when they feed you gossip and rumor.
Bud Campbell - I called Joe immediately to Thank him for his service. His service to the community.
Under the current Mayor's term:
Drainage problems have been created and covered up with no mention of Flood Insurance,
New residences have been created with no seismic engineering,
Children have been placed within dangerous buildings,
Real estate fraud has run rampant under the cheerleading for a casino,
Soap Mine Road residents and children have been poisoned and lied to,
Good ol' boys have constructed without paying proper fees,
Fees have been waived,
Human excrement is allowed to blow on residents.
And a Dairy watches over our water quality.
God Bless us all. And God Bless Miss California so she doesn't get too involved with these dysfunction backwards egotistical scum. Just look at their own kids.
Nick James - Councilman Joe Gomez made me think about why we have had so many City Managers. Elected members of the City Council, the Mayor included, should let the City Manager do his job and not try to micro manage City Hall.
Savanthar - For those hecklers out there that criticize Joe Gomez I say Joe Gomez would be a far better mayor than Mayor Lawrence Dale. For one thing Joe Gomez is honest and a true statesman. These are two values that run short in the current mayor of Barstow. Dale is neither honest or a statesman. He is in fact in it for himself and his buddies at Micromedia. Mayor Dale only knows how to feather his own nest and the nests of his buddies and everyone in Barstow would be a lot better off if he were out of office. Dale should resign immediately if not sooner. He is as corrupt as the day is long. His corrupt agenda does not benefit Barstow and should be abandoned completely and utterly. Out with Dale!
Olde Meanie - The Mayor needs to be "unvoted" ASAP! He has created a terrible condition within City Hall and hence for the city. His secret letter to BIA about an Indian tribe is just the tip of an iceberg.
Manuel Gurule - It's about time Joe Gomez speaks out on what truly happened with Hector. I know this is all being investigated by the District Attorney's Office Integrity Unit. I hope at the end of their investigation more light will come to this subject. Unfortunately other members of the Barstow City Council are not responsible enough to speak out on this. It harms absolutely no one to tell the truth except those that are lying. Don't get me wrong. I don't believe Hector was a Saint but I do believe he was doing his job and he held his integrity in doing so. The root of this evil begins and ends with Micromedia and the mayor's determination to give them the sewer plant contract. $15 million is a great sum of money and influences and corrupts a great deal.
Veteran - I am so impressed to hear what Joe Gomez had to say. It is about time someone said the truth! I have lived in this town for 25 years, and it seems that our current mayor wants us to be kept in the dark.
He is a sneaky man with a hidden agenda.Who cares if Joe's article sounds like a campaign speech, at least we are getting to the meat and potatoes of the reality of what is wrong with our city. When I first moved here, we had a JC Penny's, Kmart, Sears, Rudes clothing store, and a bunch of really nice places to go. Now we have Wal-mart! That is it. This town is repressed, and when every else is thriving, we are dormant. Thank-you Joe Gomez for your honesty! It is refreshing. Also, you have my vote no matter what you are running for! Heck, I want to be your campaign manager!