Madera City Manager Resigns
A cascade of resignations were handed down just before the end of 2017. Among them: one of the longest serving city managers in California.
Madera’s top administrator David Tooley resigned on Dec. 13, more than two decades after he first took the job. Tooley has decided to retire, but his departure comes at a time of deep frustration and criticism over the high salaries earned by city leaders and Tooley in particular.
Data from Transparent California shows Tooley took home $337,293.90 in total compensation, including salary and benefits, in 2016. The city, which is currently struggling with a nearly $1 million budget deficit, approved salary increases between 20 and 50 percent for senior city officials over the past four years, according to builder-developer and citizen sleuth Mike Pistoresi, who first raised questions about the pay.
Just a few days before Tooley’s announcement, the Madera Tribune reported that he could soon be stepping down, voluntarily or involuntarily, as a result of the controversy. The Tribune also paints a grim mood at the Dec. 13 council meeting where Tooley’s retirement was ultimately announced.
City Administrator David Tooley has resigned “for the purposes of retirement,” according to City Attorney Brent Richardson, who made the announcement quickly with no other comment Wednesday night after a special closed-session meeting of the City Council.
Richardson said another personnel item, also discussed by the council in closed session, remained unresolved…
After the announcement of Tooley’s resignation and intention to retire, Mayor Andy Medellin closed the public meeting, angrily declined to answer any press questions, and he and council members then ignored questions from the few remaining citizens.
In a written statement after the meeting, however, Mayor Medellin thanked Tooley for a job well done.
“It has been an honor and privilege to work with someone as professional and dedicated as David. His passion for Madera and vision to keep us moving forward is exceptional,” the mayor said. “For almost 25 years, David has helped steer and guide the ship that is Madera, he has dedicated most of his life to the well-being, safety and prosperity of the community from a position that is mostly a thankless job.”
Tooley’s long career in public service includes stints as city manager of Sulphur Springs, Texas and Eureka, California, as well as interim city manager for the city of Dunsmuir. He called it honor to have served the city for 25 years.