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Widmer loses new job before he has a chance to take it

Original post made on Dec 23, 2014

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council on Monday night, Dec. 22, voted 4-1 to rescind the offer it had made to hire Atherton City Council member Bill Widmer as its new city manager.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 22, 2014, 11:39 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Credibility
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 23, 2014 at 6:17 am

Widmer has now lost his credibility. By acting in a secretative and underhanded maner by accepting election to Atherton Council while at the same accepting a job 400 plus miles away he chose both jobs. Obviously Atherton would have been deprived of his time and more importantly someone else who wanted to serve precluded a position on the Council. This is all about Bill Widmer and his own self aggrandizement. He now cannot be trusted to serve Atherton and his campaign slogan of "Atherton wins" is devoid of meaning. I regret having voted for him. He should resign immediately.5ugVA

Posted by Edward Syrett
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 23, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Edward Syrett is a registered user.

I'm not an Atherton resident, and might feel differently if I were. But Mr. Widmer's position sounds reasonable to me. It's not like trying to be in two marriages at once. It's more like running two major companies at once. Steve Jobs did that (Apple and Pixar) very successfully.

Of course, if Mr. Widmer thought he was the next Steve Jobs, he might have been deluding himself. We'll never know, since he's back to one job now.

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

pogo is a registered user.

With all respect to Mr. Syrett, it's really not like doing two jobs at once. It was just one job albeit located 400 miles from home.

After seeing the Council rescind the agreement, one thing is very apparent - neither party understood the time commitment and travel requirements very well. Shame on both of them for getting this far without clarifying such a basic element of a contract.

In the private sector, we do this a lot - hire remote employees and relocate. The number of hours in a location, required at the office, and housing proximities are almost always spelled out in the agreement.

This episode is not a positive reflection on the managerial expertise of either party.

Posted by Interesting...
a resident of another community
on Dec 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Interesting... is a registered user.

Thank God the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council did the right thing and rescinded the job offer to this guy. This was a complete mismatch from the beginning. Widmer has absolutely no experience managing a City. He touted his experience as a City Council member in Atherton, but there is no comparison between being an elected, part-time City Council member and running the day-to-day operations of a City. No comparison whatsoever!

He also touted his experience as an executive and manager in the private sector. Again - absolutely no comparison whatsoever! Private sector managers are concerned most with making a profit. Public sector managers are concerned most of all with delivery of services because there is no profit motive in the public sector.

Bill Wimder would not have been a good fit as City Manager of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Thankfully, the RPV City Council recognized this, albeit later that they should have.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2014 at 7:29 am

Thoughtful is a registered user.

[part removed. Post your point without negative comments about other posters.]

What this represents to me is one of the worst and most vicious political hit jobs I've ever seen. I'm not sure I can even call it that, because in bare knuckle politics, a political hit would be defined as taking out an opponent politically, removing him from political office, or taking away political power. Taking away his job and means to make a living when that is not related to the politics is what happened here.

To Interesting, and his cronies in Atherton who did this to Widmer [part removed) shame on you, and I have to say that at least I for one believe in karma.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 24, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Concerned is a registered user.

I must start by stating that I am an Atherton resident and that I did not vote for Mr. Widmer for either election (in fact I voted against him).

I find it very interesting that he seems to be going against his campaign statement on Web Link when he states: "I have led the Town in using new technology to inform you and provide transparency." I would not call keeping his out-of-area job hunt secret, transparent in any way. In fact, keeping this secret is the opposite of transparent. I am further shocked that the town found out from a reporter -- again not transparent.

Why even run for re-election? Why potentially waste the Atherton tax payers money by creating a special election because you resign mid-term? Why run for the position at all if you are job hunting?

You have let the voters of Atherton down Mr. Widmer.

Posted by Interesting...
a resident of another community
on Dec 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Interesting... is a registered user.

Lol, Thoughtful. No one did anything to Widmer. This guy cooked his own goose. By not resigning from the Atherton City Council he showed contempt for the new city that hired him, Rancho Palos Verdes. By not resigning, he also showed a lack of respect toward his city of origin, Atherton.

He could not possible serve two masters in these two highly responsible positions. His failure to recognize this and deal with it appropriately was his undoing. End of story.

As for taking away his job, that's also a bogus argument. From what I understand, Widmer was retired (or pretty darn close to it). So, this simply means he will get to continue playing golf in NoCal. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

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