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Mystery surrounds status of Atherton's City Manager John Danielson.

Original post made by Michael G. Stogner on Dec 17, 2011

In a recent article in another major newspaper Bonnie Eslinger appears to raise more questions than answers. Why?

Forced out?

She doesn't mention that Colonel Ed Flint the Interim Police Chief is also the Interim acting City Manager, who is also according to the article negotiating the Police contract.

She doesn't mention the obvious flagrant conflict of interest inherent in this arrangement.

Other unanswered questions, Where has John Danielson been for the last 30 days? Why does Mr. Dobbie characterize Danielson's departure as being forced out?

Here is the link.
Web Link

Comments (32)

Posted by By The Book, a resident of another community
on Dec 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

The law is forcing him out. He worked 960 hours last fiscal year. He's getting close to 960 in this fiscal year. And, as of 1-3-11, he will have worked 12 months.

I'm not sure the CalPers Board even has the authority to grant an extension, as the law says in no event will the appointment last more than 12 months.

**

Government Code 21221.

A retired person may serve without reinstatement from
retirement or loss or interruption of benefits provided by this
system, as follows:

(h) Upon appointment by the governing body of a contracting agency
to a position deemed by the governing body to be of a limited
duration and requiring specialized skills or during an emergency to
prevent stoppage of public business. These appointments, in addition
to any made pursuant to Section 21224, shall not exceed a total for
all employers of 960 hours in any fiscal year. When an appointment is
expected to, or will, exceed 960 hours in any fiscal year, the
governing body shall request approval from the board to extend the
temporary employment. The governing body shall present a resolution
to the board requesting action to allow or disallow the employment
extension. The resolution shall be presented prior to the expiration
of the 960 hour maximum for the fiscal year. The appointment shall
continue until notification of the board's decision is received by
the governing body. The appointment shall be deemed approved if the
board fails to take action within 60 days of receiving the request.
Appointments under this subdivision may not exceed a total of 12
months.


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Maybe that explains the 30-day hiatus with Flint taking over. "Appointments under this subdivision may not exceed a total of 12 months." They will argue this is now a new appointment, since his last once ended before Flint took over?

I do think cops are behind this coup, though.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm

What a bunch of sheer, uniformed speculation!!

Read the Council packet, do your homework.

Danielson is not being 'forced out'. The Town is asking CalPERS for an exception so that he can continue his important leadership role.

APPROVAL OF LETTER TO CALPERS EXTENDING TIME OF PERFORMANCE FOR INTERIM CITY MANAGER AND AMEND CONTRACT TO INCLUDE ADDITIONAL TIME AS DEFINED BY CALPERS
Report: City Attorney Bill Conners
Recommendation: 1. City Council sign the letter of extension to the CalPERS Board, and 2. City Council direct the City Attorney to amend the Interim City Manager contract to include additional time as defined by CalPERS and direct the Mayor to authorize the contract extension.

Here what the proposed letter to CalPERS states:"In short, Mr. Danielson, working with the City Council, has begun a reformation of the Town's operations in a way that will hopefully lead us from the brink of financial catastrophe. It would be a substantial blow to this work in progress if he were forced to leave at the present time."


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hey, thanks for the suggestion, Peter. I did my homework.

The letter is a big, fat, lie.

It says Danielson must be given an extension since he is the only witness to major lawsuits that occurred during his tenure.

That's a lie. There's not a single lawsuit that was filed based on events that occurred during his tenure.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The letter was drafted by the Town Attorney who is much more knowledgable about any lawsuits than hmmmmmm and also infinitely less likely to lie than some unknown person.

I suggest hmmm go the the Council meeting and publicly accuse Mr. Conners of lying.


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Nah, don't need to. Why don't you, or Conners, name the single lawsuit that was filed during Mr. Danielson's tenure as interim city manager to prove me wrong? You selectively quoted from the letter, and when confronted with a lie in the letter, accuse me of lying?

I can't prove a negative. But you can disprove my assertion. Name the lawsuit.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Pacific Peninsula Group v. Town of Atherton, and Does 1 through 50, San
Mateo Superior Court, Case No. CIV 497841

Veal v Dere CV 10-10-05456


Kimberly Sweidy & Raimie Stata v. The Town of Atherton, Michael C. Wasmann,
Michael A. Hood, Michael J. Cully, CSG Consultants, Inc., Superior Court of
California, County of San Mateo, Case No. CIV 499893




Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I suggest hmmm go the the Council meeting and publicly accuse Mr. Conners of lying IF hmmmmm really wants the truth.


Posted by informed, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Peter, the Pacific Peninsula Group lawsuit has been settled.Even if Sweidy filed her lawsuit during Danielson's time in town, the events she is suing over happened before his time. His time in Atherton began long after Wasserman and Hood were history. So I don't know what Danielson was "witness" to that could make his presence in town important on the legal front. Maybe continuity would be important in resolving the existing suits, I don't know. But I agree with hmmmm that the letter was written as a sales pitch with some pretty flimsy "facts."

Another one is that it claims the building official is an "interim" position. Didn't the town just outsource the building department? Isn't Homer Maiel a permanent, contract employee?

I have no position on whether Danielson should stay on. But hmmmm pointed out a flaw in the letter's argument, and it's not fair to attach him/her just because you support Danielson.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I have much more confidence in the Town Attorney's knowledge and judgement on this matter than I do with the unsupported allegations of hmmmm.

Pointing to alleged flaws in the draft letter is very different than proving their existence.

As usual this Forum provides a safe, cheap and unaccountable platform for irresponsible and libelous charges against named individuals by conveniently anonymous posters. And when challenged hmmmm declines to confront the public official whom he anonymously calls a liar.


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 18, 2011 at 4:44 am

As informed stated, my allegations are not unsupported. Yours are. PPG settled. Sweidy (and Buckheit) are from before Danielson. The Dere lawsuit involved an Atherton cop who was assigned to a county agency and there is nothing Danielson witnessed there unless he was at the bust. I doubt it, since it happened before he came here.

The letter simply lies. A true letter such as below would be supported by me.

Dear Calpers:

We've had a very dysfunctional municipal government for many years. We go through more town managers in a decade than other peninsula cities do in a century. We have no proven ability to hire any competent person consistently. John Danielson is the closest we've come. Our track record shows our next hire is likely to be much, much worse. Can we keep him? Please?

By the way, your blind advocacy for the city attorney, even in light of
contradictory facts, reminds me of people here who have said since they love the police department, they will not look at any factual cost issues, period. I don't believe you've thought too much of arguments like that.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 18, 2011 at 7:34 am

As usual this Forum provides a safe, cheap and unaccountable platform for irresponsible and libelous charges against named individuals by conveniently anonymous posters. And when challenged hmmmm declines to confront the public official whom he anonymously calls a liar.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

I challenge anyone who claims that a public official is lying to make that charge and stating the exact basis for that charge in public so that the public official can publicly respond.

Or shut up with such charges.


Posted by Thomas (Sharon Heights), a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Thomas (Sharon Heights) is a registered user.

Both Hmmm and Informed make very valid points. The pending lawsuits occurred prior to Mr. Danielson's appointment and in my opinion, since the council would like Mr. Danielson to continue as the interim manager, have basically created legal fiction in their letter to CalPers as drafted by Mr. Connors in order to get around the restrictions put in place on "retired" public servants.

Both Hmmm and Informed have merely stated their opinions on the matter and of course as is always the case with those that disagree with Mr. Carpenter's opinions on this forum, he is quick to denounce their opinions as libelous and irresponsible.

Inasmuch as Michael Stogner, a candidiate for County Supervisor whose only endorsement was from Peter Carpenter, originally posted this blog questioning the legitimacy of Mr. Flint's appointment, I would like to ask Mr. Carpenter whether he agrees with Mr. Stogner's statement that Mr. Danielson's appointment of the police chief as acting city manager is an "obvious flagrant conflict of interest inherent in this arrangement"? It would seem to me that Mr. Stogner, who Mr. Carpenter has endorsed for a variety county positions, is part of the same "sheer and uninformed speculation" by suggesting that Mr. Flint's appointment is is a conflict of interest.


Posted by Hmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 19, 2011 at 3:23 am

Mr. Carpenter is taking an end (the continued employment of his favored candidate) justifies the means position here.

Mr. Carpenter, I have challenged the public official(s) involved in writing the letter. Rather than at a council meeting where they will not respond and I will be ignored, I have done so here within the fourth estate, a time-honored way of effecting change in our society. You have long been opposed to anonymous postings but they continue to be allowed in this forum where you have also chosen to continue to participate. The Almanac has wisely anticipated that many views would not be expressed if anonymity were not offered, particularly because of the retaliatory capabilities of the entities being criticized.

I now call upon you to do the ethical thing and demand for an accurate letter to be written.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:15 am

Hmmmmm - Since you feel that the letter is inaccurate I now call upon you to do the ethical thing and demand for an accurate letter to be written.


Almost nobody reads this Forum (185 views of this topic - probably by no more than 20 different people) so writing your thoughts is highly unlikely to reach your intended target.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 19, 2011 at 6:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I disagree with the contention that Ed Flint's service as Interim Acting Town Manager is a conflict of interest. The police contract will is no way affect Ed Flint's compensation.
See my previous posting on this appointment:
***********************
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Nov 19, 2011 at 9:26 am


How fortunate we are to have an Interim Town Manager who knows that being able to communicate from afar is no substitute for hands on management and has therefore asked that someone else take on his responsibilities while he is otherwise indisposed.

And how fortunate we are that the Town Council has another individual in whom it has confidence that is both willing and able to take on these duties.

***********************************************

It is sheer speculation to suggest which lawsuits are the ones referred to in the draft letter and I was foolish to take the bait offered by Hmmm to do his/her homework on that matter. Not knowing which are the lawsuits is is illogical to say that those lawsuits don't exist.

It is valid to ask the Town Attorney which are the lawsuits referred to in the draft letter; it is irresponsible to call the Town Attorney's letter a lie not knowing which lawsuits are the ones noted.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Hmmm calls the Town Attorney a liar and yet has neither the courtesy or the courage to contact the Town Attorney regarding that allegation.

Not wishing to rely on Hmmm's courtesy or courage, I have communicated with the Town Attorney and he has reviewed with me three specific ongoing lawsuits in which Danielson's participation is critical. Anyone who is interested can ask the Town attorney (or Hmmm since he/she asserts to know the truth) the same question.


Posted by Share, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

Share your information here Peter. Why is the information you got from Conners a secret? Post it. It explains what is in the letter so that's only fair.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 6:42 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Anyone who is interested can ask the Town attorney (or Hmmm since he/she asserts to know the truth) the same question."

I do not want to deny Hmmm the opportunity, in fact the necessity, of discussing this matter with the Town Attorney - that would be only fair and courteous and courageous.

In the meantime, I affirm that the Town Attorney' claim in the draft letter regarding pending lawsuits is true based on my personal knowledge.


Posted by Share, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

NO Peter should put up or shut up as he suggested others do above. It should not be necessary for an anonymous poster to "out" himself or herself to the city attorney to get to the truth here. That just invites retaliation.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 21, 2011 at 9:58 am

I have verified the facts. Others are welcome to di the same.

I have no interest in digging Hmmm out of his/her hole.


Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community
on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

Share, I could not disagree more with your position in your last post. I have no skin in the game relative to this topic, but, as an anonymous poster on this forum who believes he has honorable reasons for wishing to remain anonymous here, if I did have interest I would not hesitate to ask whomever my own questions openly. To assume or fear doing so "just invites retaliation" indicates to me, not so honorable reasons for being anonymous. Hmmm does not have to tell the town attorney that he/she is Hmmm (doubt the attorney would even care). Peter Carpenter, or anyone else on this forum, should not be viewed as having an obligation to do every one elses research or fact checking.


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

From the Almanac's article:

"In fact, the original letter presented to the council was so dire that newly-appointed mayor Bill Widmer, who must sign the letter, asked to have it toned down. "If I need to sign it I WOULD LIKE IT TO BE TRUE," Mr. Widmer said. "I think we could be a little softer with our analysis of the current situation."

Now who's in a hole, Peter?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Hmmm remains in the hole with his/her assertion that the statement in the letter regarding pending law suits is a lie - clearly that was a false statement and remains so.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I just watched the video of the 21 Dec meeting and the Council specifically asked about the referenced lawsuits and those lawsuits were confirmed.

It is time for Hmmm to issue a public apology for accusing the Town Attorney of lying.


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm

No, it's time for the the Town Attorney to treat public process as such and provide notice of these lawsuits to the residents in minutes and agendas. The letter as the town attorney wrote, as admitted by the mayor, was false.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 24, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The letter as the town attorney wrote, as admitted by the mayor, was false."

Wrong - The Mayor wanted the language toned down, not the facts changed.

All of the lawsuits involved have appeared on previous Council agendas.

It is time for Hmmm to issue a public apologies for accusing the Town Attorney of lying and for misquoting the Mayor.

When you are in a hole, stop digging.



Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 25, 2011 at 1:40 am

Peter is digging in his hole. Cite the council agendas, Peter.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 7:39 am

As previously stated I have no intention of digging Hmmm out of the hole he has dug. I have conferred with the Town Attorney as has the Town Council and we all know the Town Attorney is telling the truth. Hmmm needs to do the same or at least watch the video of the discussion of item 10 at the 21 Dec Council meeting and then issue a public apology for calling the Town Attorney a liar.


Posted by Hmmmmm, a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

Peter's hole is so deep now, he's halfway to China. First the mayor won't sign a letter that he claims is dishonest, but I am to blame for criticizing the author's honesty. Next, Peter claims the alleged lawsuits are all on the council agendas, but in fact they are nowhere to be found. I do find it innovative, though, that an individual takes actions (firing all town employees) to justify (allegedly) the filing of lawsuits, and the reason he needs to stay on is to defend those lawsuits. Nice work if you can get it, eh?


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

Seven publicly known people have affirmed the facts in the letter to CalPERS. One unknown person without any source credibility claims the letter is a lie and attributes quotes and actions to Mayor which are simply not true. Anyone who wishes to confirm what we seven publicly known people already know can either ask the Town Attorney or watch the video of the Council's discussion of item 10 at its 21 Dec meeting.

Hmmm is simply wrong. I have given up expecting HMMM to be big enough to apologize for his/her false accusation about the Town Attorney and the Mayor.

Now let's get back on topic - There is NO mystery about John Danielson's status. He participated in the 21 Dec meeting and the Council voted unanimously to request CalPERS' approval for Danielson to serve for another 12 months.


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