The Cambria Community Services District could soon be looking for a new general manager.
The district’s Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously authorized counsel to “negotiate a separation agreement” with the attorney for General Manager Jerry Gruber after a Thursday, Aug. 31, closed-session meeting. The action also authorized Board President Amanda Rice to sign the agreement.
The board didn’t release its rationale for the decision, any specifics about what led up to it, how the negotiations might proceed or how long they might be expected to take.
In the open session that preceded the closed-door meeting, more than a dozen members of the public weighed in.
The meeting’s official agenda, released the day before, only referenced “public employee discipline/dismissal/release.” Since Gruber is the only district employee over which the board has direct control, some in the community assumed that his continued employment was the topic of the closed session.
There were about 25 people in the audience; more than half of them voiced their opinions before the board went into closed session.
Some said they were dissatisfied with how the district has been operated during Gruber’s tenure.
Some speakers were critical of how the meeting was being handled and that Gruber’s name was left off its agenda, saying it bordered on character assassination. And one man warned the board to be cautious about their actions, to be certain they knew what the alternatives would be, and to make sure those alternatives would be “demonstrably better than what we have.”
Gruber has been with the district since November 2010, rising from utilities manager to interim general manager in April 2011 to general manager in June 2011.