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3rd Key City Official to Resign Since March : Hawaiian Gardens Administrator Quits

November 26, 1987|RITA PYRILLIS | Times Staff Writer

HAWAIIAN GARDENS — After a two-hour closed session Tuesday, the City Council accepted the resignation of City Administrator Charles E. Bryant, the third key city official to resign since March amid rumors of conflicts with council members.

Bryant, 52, will step down on Dec. 1 from the post he has held for less than a year.

Councilman Donald Schultze maintained that Bryant was forced out by council members who were unhappy with his job performance.

"Who is going to be the victim of the next witch hunt?" Schultze asked the council after the meeting. "I am very disappointed with the council policy on handling personnel."

Severance Pay Offered

Schultze, who with Councilman Richard Vineyard voted against accepting the resignation on a 3-2 vote, said the council offered to give Bryant six months of severance pay "to persuade him to leave." He said the council and Bryant "reached an agreement" but would not give more details.

"Why should the city pay him severance pay if in fact he resigned?" Schultze asked. "The taxpayers shouldn't have to pick up the tab because the council can't get along with staff."

City Atty. Maurice O'Shea would not comment on the terms of Bryant's resignation, saying they are confidential.

Bryant, who was hired in 1983 as assistant city administrator, earns $47,592 a year.

Vice Mayor Kathleen Navejas denied that council members pressured Bryant to leave but acknowledged that conflicts existed. "I just feel our goals and objectives did not match," Navejas said. "This was a mutual understanding."

Council Clashes Denied

Bryant denied that he resigned because of clashes with council members, saying only that "it is time to move on."

"I've learned after working in Cypress for 18 years that I should not overstay my effectiveness," said Bryant, who was director of parks and recreation for that city until 1980. "Everyone is agreeing to this (resignation)."

Navejas said differing ideas about the direction Hawaiian Gardens should take precipitated the resignations of Redevelopment Agency Director Douglas Dunlap, who stepped down in March, and Planning Director Pat Tessier, who left in September.

"This is a good sign," Navejas said. "It shows things are moving in the direction council wants them to move."

The city has hired financial consultant Dudley Lange as interim city administrator. The council agreed to pay Lange $6,000 a month for four to six months, Navejas said. Lange was also acting redevelopment director between March and August, 1987.

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