Here, in its entirety, is an email that Commissioner Tobin sent to City Manager Jorge Gonzalez on Tuesday afternoon, under the subject title, “Sneaky till the end” –
Yesterday you and I discussed your resignation. You wanted to stay for one more year. I wanted to sleep on it. Here is my answer and rationale.
I hear from the media you and your group are close to negotiating with 2 of my fellow commissioners to allow you to stay for 1 more year. I am obligated to comment on the way you went about getting what you wanted which I find offensive and indicative of a pattern of conduct you use to usurp the public process. The pattern which has infected our city and that has fostered fertile ground for corruption.
You failed to call a meeting so that we the elected body could not speak to each other about the latest corruption events and your failure to properly manage. You are therefore able to speak to us individually and, as you know, the Sunshine Law precludes us from speaking to each other. You and your friends first negotiated for your job with each commissioner individually and now they are negotiating the terms of your departure. With the deal essentially done, we will go through the motions of a public process tomorrow.
For the last five years I have had extreme difficulties in obtaining information and cooperation from you and your staff as I have outlined in previous emails. I tried many different approaches to gaining some cooperation.
The only threat there ever was to your complete domination of the public process was the possibility, albeit remote, that 4 commissioners would summon the courage to ask that you step aside. Allowing you to continue to be in charge for 1 year after your resignation would leave you and your staff in a position of control without consequence. If you ignored and usurped and punished those that opposed you before your termination why would you now turn over a new leaf? The utter lack of accountability and arrogance for the public process cannot possibly get better.
Based on our discussions over the years I know you to punish your political enemies.
I believe that during this year that you are asking for you will have the opportunity to spend much of your time and energy resurrecting your professional reputation by concealing any indication that a lack of management and accountability is at the heart of so many problems in our great city. You will punish those who have recently embarrassed you, by calling into question your ability to manage. You will reward those that were loyal.
You will resurrect your reputation and those of your staff by all means necessary. Will Robert Santos speak up that he warned you about Jose Alberto in Code Enforcement [Compliance] if you are here to control his future? The next year will be a Jorge Gonzalez PR campaign. It will be about concealing any indication that a failure in management was the root cause of the latest corruption.
You can leave with your 1 year severance and a pension of $150,000 a year for life. You can begin to collect within the next few years, if not immediately. But you are fighting so very hard to stay in power. You share the most powerful of positions in our community and you often rub elbows with the most powerful in the community. These folks are your friends, they know you over cocktails, social banter and discussions about the masses. I don’t blame them for using their power and influence to dissuade my colleagues from seeking your termination.
Human nature suggests that the next year, your mission and the mission of your team of very well-paid and -pensioned friends will be self-preservation, and that means shifting blame and concealing data that suggests a management failure. Public sector employment is a very small clique. Friendships and connections are what gets and keeps the job. Those that have recently come forward here at the city will go back in the closet.
To allow you to have control for one year is the most incredibly bad idea for our community that I could imagine. Your loyal staff of lifelong friends will not be forced to learn new methods of dealing with the elected officials. What about employees not yet jaded? Those loyal will enjoy your protection for a year and beyond in the public sector.
We are now entertaining more than a billion dollars of potential new construction between the possibility of developing Lincoln Lane and the convention center. As the strong manager, you will be in control of billions and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime turning point for our community. This must be a public process and cannot be stewarded by someone who doesn’t set meetings so he can weaken and take advantage of the public’s representatives.
You, Matti and Administration, bitter and out for blood for 1 year…
No thank you!
Edward L. Tobin, Commissioner