Redondo Beach City Council returned to council chambers after closed session on Tuesday night to announce that City Manager Bill Workman had been terminated.
Because the council canceled the open session meeting for the evening, the chambers were virtually empty when the council members filed in after their closed session . After a roll call, Mayor Steve Aspel read the news verbatim from the press release:
“Bill Workman has served the City of Redondo Beach as City Manager since 2004. The City has benefited from his efforts and successful results, including being ranked number one for governance and financial management by the Los Angeles County Grand Jury. The City Council’s vision for the City is now taking it in a new direction, leading to a decision to transition the chief administrative officer helm of the City to another qualified individual. In order to do so, the Council has unanimously, with Councilman Stephen Sammarco absent, elected to terminate Bill’s employment agreement without cause. The Council thanks Bill for his years of service, and wishes him the very best as he pursues new private sector business opportunities.”
The mayor and councilmembers are staying quiet on the issue, declining to comment further than the official announcement.
“We can’t comment beyond the press release because it is a personnel issue,” said Councilmember Bill Brand.
Mayor Aspel said that severance information will be forthcoming.
City council members look on as Mayor Aspel announces the termination of City Manager Bill Workman on Tuesday night.
Workman had been out on reported medical leave for the last several weeks. In January, the Redondo Beach City Council approved an independent investigation into employee complaints surrounding Workman. In November of last year, the Coalition of Redondo Beach Employees (CORE) conducted a survey among its members, and revealed during a council meeting that of 297 members surveyed, 291 – or 98 percent – cast a vote of no confidence in City Manager Bill Workman.
Brad Sweatt, President of the Firefighters’ Association and a member of CORE, has been an outspoken critic of Workman. Last month, in the midst of wage disputes, Sweatt made clear the CORE’s stance on the city manager.
“He has not been fair, respectful or honest with city employees,” said Sweatt. “We have said that he needs to change how he does business or he should be asked to leave.”
Less than a month later, Workman is gone.
“We finally got the news we’ve been anticipating,” Sweatt said Tuesday night. “This move by the council helps to validate what we’ve been saying for quite some time. It’s the closing of a chapter.”