The Atherton City Council will have to start looking for a new city manager. The current manager, Jerome "Jerry" Gruber, has announced his resignation effective Oct. 22, according to the town's deputy city clerk, who issued a written announcement this morning (Sept. 23).
Mr. Gruber, whose tenure in City Hall will have been just short of three years, has taken a position with the Cambria Community Services District on the Central California coast, said Theresa DellaSanta, the deputy city clerk. Mr. Gruber has owned a home in Cambria, near San Simeon, since 2005, according to the announcement.
City Councilman Jim Dobbie said Mr. Gruber's decision was his own, not the council's.
Mr. Gruber will be leaving behind several headaches for whoever takes his place.
■ The town has been making deep cuts to its expenses to get them in line with income.
■ The town is dealing with one lawsuit after another, recently settling two, with former employees, for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
■ Employee morale is extremely low, according to a number of people close to Town Hall.
■ Internecine feuding nettles the City Council.
■ The building official recently retired after coming under intense criticism by some residents, including a couple likely to sue the town for "gross neligence" on the part of the building department.
■ The city attorney is under fire for what the mayor says are issues with the attorney's ethics, transparency and attitude.
■ With the installation of lights on the field, evening athletic contests and practices are coming to the high school after six decades of afternoon games, with potential side effects on the peace and quiet of dusk and nighttime. A group of Atherton residents is suing the school district.
Prior to his nearly four-year stint as head of the Department of Water and Power in Big Bear Lake, California, Mr. Gruber was the water operations manager and water reclamation manager at the South Walton Utility Co. in Destin, Florida.
Originally from Southern California, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1979 until 1985.
Renee Batti contributed to this report.