During a tense City Council meeting Monday evening, the City of Merced voted unanimously to terminate its coronavirus emergency declaration. That meeting also saw major differences between Mayor Mike Murphy and City Manager Steve Carrigan on display, with Murphy blasting Carrigan for alleged lack of transparency.
At issue are emergency-related costs that Murphy says were not disclosed to the public.
At the prior City Council meeting, Carrigan said the emergency incurred a cost of $90,844 upon the city. Murphy at the time raised questions about additional paid administrative leave and compensatory time off not included in that total — excluded costs that tally nearly $1.2 million, according to Murphy.
Murphy told the Sun-Star that it is not the paid administrative leave and CTO that he necessarily has problems with, but the fact that the city manager was not transparent with City Council. “He (Carrigan) repeatedly denied the existence of paid admin leave until I uncovered incontrovertible evidence on my own that it was not only occurring, but that the city manager himself had authorized it,” Murphy said.
Murphy also said Carrigan told him not to discuss the matter with staff or department heads and vice versa, which he found disturbing.
Carrigan said it’s a personnel issue that was discussed on May 13 and May 18 and that he cannot get into it publicly since it concerns personnel.
Council members appeared caught in the dispute between the two men.
“It’s kinda ugly and it hurts to see it,” said Councilmember Matthew Serratto.
Watch the meeting and read more at the Merced Sun-Star.