Two members of the Los Banos City Council are speaking out in opposition to the recent firing of City Manager Josh Pinheiro.
The Council fired Pinheiro this month, just nine months after he was appointed to the job. No explanation was given for the termination. The closed-door vote was split 3 to 2, with Mayor Pro Tempore Kenneth Lambert and District 3 Councilmember Brett Jones dissenting.
“Plain and simple our City Manager was caught in a political crossfire,” said Jones, who provided a long list of accomplishments already racked up by Pinheiro.
“There was no rational logic to the vote. It was based purely on emotion without a single thought given to the repercussions that will follow. Because of the vulnerability these three City officials left the City in, along with their lack of secession planning to move this City forward, I have absolutely zero confidence in the leadership of our Mayor Tom Faria, Council Member Deborah Lewis and Council Member Refugio Llamas. It is completely inexcusable what they did.”
“I am absolutely appalled and embarrassed of what transpired,” said Lambert, adding that the firing “was unfair and without cause.”
Pinheiro was hired in October to replace Alex Terrazas, who was terminated in a 4-1 vote last year.