Communication between council and former city manager was an issue, mayor said.
City Manager Bob Gorson resigned unexpectedly Tuesday night, apparently during an evaluation by the Taft City Council.
Gorson turned in his keys and was escorted from the building.
Mayor Randy Miller confirmed the announcement Wednesday morning.
“He chose to resign,” Miller said. “We took no pleasure in accepting his resignation but he made that choice.”
Both Miller and Gorson put a positive face on the resignation, but Miller acknowledged there were some differences between Gorson, who was hired in the fall of 2006, and the council.
“I think communication between the city manager and the council was an issue we had,” Miller said Wednesday
Public Works Director Craig Jones was named interim city manager. Miller said he will be assisted in running the city by other senior staff members.
Gorson's resignation was the third departure of a senior staff member in recent weeks
Chief of Police Ken McMinn resigned at the start of the year, and grants administrator Lucille Holt has resigned to take a job with the City of McFarland.
Gorson discussed his departure at Wednesday morning's Sit 'n Sip at the Taft District Chamber of Commerce.
“I am a finalist in another city,” he said. “I have mixed feelings. I love this community. I'm very passionate about it. I've had an opportunity in the past to go to a larger city, but when it came time to pull the trigger I just couldn't do it.”
Gorson did not reveal where he's applied but it is in California.
He talked about the mark he's leaving on the city.
“My legacy is as a planning manager,” he said, noting the city's effort to revamp and update the general plan.
“The council is strong,” he said. “They have a vision for the city. The city is in very good hands. We have a strong staff.”
Gorson also pointed to future development prospects.
“Just the railroad property is a $200 million project,” he said. “I believe the future of Taft is very bright.”
He also pointed to new businesses coming to Taft – a Family Dollar store next to McDonald's and a 15,000-square-foot Dollar General targeted for the Rails to Trails property. Both, he said, will sell groceries, giving Albertson's super market some competition.
Gorson said Albertson's has filed permits for a $300,000 remodeling project that will include adding a Starbuck's. A 65-bed Holiday Inn Express at Sixth and Main streets also is in the works.
There was no hint at Tuesday's meeting about the events that followed.
Gorson's evaluation was on the agenda for a closed session prior to the 7 p.m. regular meeting, but it was postponed until after the regular open session.
The council adjourned into closed session with Gorson and Prentice about 8:20 p.m.
Miller said he meet with senior staff at city hall Wednesday morning in the wake of Gorson's resignation.
He said the meeting was very positive.
“We had a great discussion on how we are going to improve communication,” Miller said.
Gorson's resignation was the third departure of a senior staff member in recent weeks. Chief of Police Ken McMinn resigned at the start of the year, and grants administrator Lucille Holt has resigned to take a job with the City of McFarland.