Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Manuel (Gil) Gurule Tells the Truth About City Manager Rodriguez

Manuel (Gil) Gurule
Letter to the Editor
Desert Dispatch

Dear Editor,

Surprise surprise, just what I predicted would happen did happen and for the same reasons I mentioned in my letter on November 14th, 2007. It took the Desert Dispatch 2 1/2 weeks after my letter and 2 days after the City Manager was fired to finally reveal the truth on the reasons for his termination.

The memo on October 30th, written by City Manager Rodriguez, has been floating around City Hall for the past month, so it's not that hard for a newspaper that truly wants to inform its public to find. This letter was addressed to the full council concerning the interference of Mayor Dale with awarding a $15 million contract to his friends Micromedia Filtration Inc., who, by the way, was recommended to him by his dear friend, the mayor of Adelanto, who is now being investigated for embezzlement.

Instead of sidestepping the law like the mayor wanted, Mr. Rodriguez was doing the highly ethical thing by reporting this interference by the mayor to the full council. But with Mr. Dale and his puppets, this only ended with the demise of our City Manager and his ultimate and unjustified termination.

I have previously written a complaint to the San Bernardino County's District Attorney's Office and its Public Integrity Unit concerning Brown Act violations with regard to Micromedia and discussions about its contract in closed session. This complaint was sent in when it was made obvious by Councilman Joe Gomez and Councilman Steve Curran that the council had spoken in closed session about the contract with Micromedia when it was not put on the agenda for discussion. That is a direct Brown Act violation.

Hopefully the recent events on the firing of the City Manager Mr. Rodriguez, the head of the city of Barstow, will trigger a deeper investigation into his firing and the possible awarding of a $15 million bid to his friends Micromedia, something the mayor has been pushing for months and is an obvious conflict of interest to the mayor.

The article in the Desert Dispatch mentions a memo sent out by Mr. Rodriguez to the council and city department heads. This memo issued communication guidelines between city employees and city council members. City Council members are not to give direction to staff, subordinates of the City Manager. That is the city manager's job.

The communication guidelines were rescinded by the majority of the council the same day they put the city manager on indefinite leave. Strange, is it not? They now admit that the council is to stay out of the city manager's job duties, like Councilman Curran states in your article of December 1st. To me, Councilman Curran is talking with a forked tongue, or in a nicer term, being deceptive.
Hopefully this article of the Desert Dispatch on internal memos will open some eyes on what is really going on in Barstow.

Manuel Gurule

Letters to the editor, November 14, 2007

Fix Is In On
City Manager's Treatment

I too would like to voice my opinion on the misguided vote by our City Council to put our city manager on indefinite paid leave. This only means firing.

This cannot come as a surprise to anyone. The cards were dealt over two years ago when Mayor Dale and his cohort, Paul Luellig, voted against the appointment of Hector Rodriguez to City Manager. This was a blow to the dictatorship of Mayor Dale and Paul Luellig. But their efforts to stop his appointment failed. They did not get their way and with the recall of Paul, the mayor had to wait until he had his other two votes to remove Mr. Rodriguez. This came when Tim Silva, his crony, and Julie Hackbarth were elected.

One thing that makes this very suspicious is that his suspension was to take effect immediately after closed session on Monday. For those of you that don’t understand this, this was done only to silence Mr. Rodriguez from revealing the true facts behind his suspension in open session. Now that he is negotiating his departure, he’s under strict confidentiality and cannot release anything to the public while negotiating his compensation for his remaining tenure.

He was about to release some information that would not have been favorable to the mayor on what led up to this point. By suspending him, his lips were sealed and the cover-up was in effect. For those in the know, this all stems from the contract dealing with the mayor’s associates vying for building the sewer plant. Nothing more. Mr. Rodriguez held to his ethics, stood up to the mayor and wanted to follow the law. The mayor wants to sidestep the law for his friends MircoMedia.

With the placement of the mayor’s appointee Ron Rector, things will go the mayor’s way. As we have seen in the past, Ron Rector is a yes-man and will never go against the mayor. If there are any legitimate reasons to let our City Manager Hector Rodriguez go and cost the city taxpayers thousands of dollars for doing so, why then wasn’t the public notified of this prior to his suspension? It is our right as taxpayers and citizens of Barstow to know what is going on with our city government.

Manuel Gurule

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