Azusa’s City Manager is Out After 21/2 Years. But Why?

A rift has opened up in the City of Azusa following the abrupt resignation of city manager Troy Butzlaff. The council accepted his resignation in a 4 to 0 vote Tuesday night, but the reasons for it have already become a point of contention.

Mayor Joe Rocha said Butzlaff left because of health issues. That came as news to Mayor Pro Tem Uriel Macias, who was unable to attend the closed session but essentially said he’s not buying that explanation.

“This council has always been about transparency, and I don’t think we’ve fulfilled that in this case,” said Macias. “I think that Troy was one of the best city managers we’ve had in the last 20 years. I wish him well. I hope people ask the hard questions, and realize what transpired and for what reasons.

“And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

So what is it that transpired? It’s still unclear. His performance was supposed to be the subject of evaluation during a closed session on June 26. According to Azusa Police Chief Steve Hunt, who is now serving as acting manager, Butzlaff was placed on “approved leave” following that meeting.

Deepening the mystery is the fact that the city seems to be working out a severance package and accrued vacation time. Under his contract, Butzlaff isn’t supposed to get any severance or vacation payout if he resigns. When asked, city spokesman Martin Quiroz declined to explain.

Butzlaff has served as Azusa’s top administrator since 2015 when he took over for interim City Manager Don Penman. He had previously served as city administrator in Placentia.


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