Richert Resigns

The City Council special meeting video for Tuesday 2 July is now posted. You can see my comments on City Manager David Richert’s performance review at about 0:01:30, very early in the short initial segment before the Council retired into executive session.

Of course, as you have read (see this AZCentral article, if you have not), Mr. Richert has resigned due to lack of support from a majority on the C0uncil for his continued employment. This was apparently due, at least in part, to a conflict of interest with Richert’s interest in a land development company. I was unaware of this conflict prior to this week. However,

  1. It is pretty obvious from comments made by Mayor Jim Lane about a month ago that Lane may have known about this for some time, even though this week he denied knowing about it.
  2. If that is the case, Lane (and anyone else on the Council who knew) committed a grievous breach of trust in not addressing it sooner, rather than waiting until Richert’s performance review.
  3. Richert claims to have disclosed this conflict upon his initial employment with the city. If that is the case and the information didn’t get to Mayor Lane and the Council during their interviews of Richert for the interim city manager position and/or his official hiring as city manager, the human resources department and/or Lane’s chief(s) of staff are culpable.

As you see from my comments to the Council, Richert is only part of the problem for which he is being blamed. He served at the pleasure of Mayor Lane and the Council. To the extent that either, a) he was following their direction, and/or b) he was allowed to pursue his own agenda that was contrary to the wishes of the citizens as expressed directly and through the voter-ratified 2001 General Plan, Mayor Lane and the Council majority are equally to blame for Richert’s failings.

I wish they’d follow him in resigning.

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