Says Gorson has not acted in best interest of city and Noerr, Linder and Miller have aided him
Taft City Councilman Craig Noble leveled a scathing attack at Manager Bob Gorson and three members of the council Tuesday night.
Noble accused Gorson of making false allegations and other misdeeds and accused Mayor Dave Noerr and Councilmen Randy Miller and Paul Linder of covering up for and even aiding Gorson.
Noble stepped down from the dais and spoke to the council and Gorson from the audience, two weeks after Gorson did the same in a presentation where the city manager harshly criticized Noble and Councilman Cliff Thompson.
In his lengthy statement, Noble accused Gorson of leveling false allegations of interference, harassment and uncivil behavior against him, of falsely telling an applicant for a department head vacancy that the city was not going to fill that position, and of mishandling the city's efforts to dramatically expand its sphere of influence.
Noble also revisited the controversy over employee raises Gorson gave out without the council's knowledge after he was told no employees should get raises.
Noble said Gorson's concentration on “career paths” for city employees “were simply large raises with no requirements to increase job skills or advance an education.”
He also accused Noerr, Miller and Linder of trying to keep him from commenting publicly on city matters and even said Noerr tried to have him and Thompson barred from participating in the city attorney evaluations.
Noble also said the three were abetting Gorson's alleged misconduct.
Most of Noble's accusations in the nine-page statement were aimed squarely at Gorson.
The allegations included charges that Gorson:
• Misrepresented on several occasions by stating he did not know the management contracts were to go before the City Council.
•Knowingly went against Council direction giving management raises, and raises were excessively higher than normal pay raises.
•Withheld from the Council information concerning the sphere of influence, such as letters of concern with the EIR and water issues that would prevent the SOI from occurring, wasting thousands of taxpayer dollars.
• Brought false allegations against Thompson and myself, stating there were three female employees claiming the same allegations when there were none. It was only the city manager.
• Falsely accused me of contacting employee’s union, Local 521, and that I had interfered with contract negotiations.
• Brought “Uncivil Behavior” allegations against me a month after I had been cleared of the previous “Harassment” charges. Bob stated that my “Uncivil Behavior” towards staff and the business community had been going on for months.
• Continues to bring false allegations against the City Attorneys stating they are months behind in their work in an effort to have them terminated.
• Has repeatedly entered into contracts in violation of the Government Code and the Taft Municipal Code, again incurring thousands of dollars of fees at public expense.
•Without notice or authorization of the Council hired attorneys to advocate for his personal position.
•Misrepresented the fact stating no one applied for the Public Works Director position, when in fact a licensed Engineer did apply.
• Misrepresented to a Public Works Director applicant that the council had decided to go another direction. The applicant who is a licensed engineer requested a salary just $505 a month more than present Public Works Manager. This has cost the City untold thousands of dollars in engineering fees.
•Is not working in the best interest of the City, giving away potential water rights, and was deceptive in the BVWSD contract.
•Concealed from the Council failure to pay rent on city-owned residence from November 2008 to June 2009 to the sum of $11,400.
•For a second time concealed from the Council failure to pay rent again this time for a period of 5 months.
•Stated on several occasions that he was not able to qualify a loan to purchase the city residence but had acquired five other properties within the city. The city manager made no comment.
Gorson made no comment after Noerr cautioned him that, “You don't have to respond to that tonight.”
But Noerr and Miller did.
Miller, who at times laughed derisively during Noble's statements, said he was embarrassed for the city.
“What you did tonight was very embarrassing,” he told Noble. “It never had to be done.”
Noerr called Noble's statements “another regurgitation of an inaccuracy.”?“Those are the most ridiculous words I've ever heard,” the mayor said