No late night session here.
Despite an early departure by Mayor Alex Bias during Wednesday night’s city council meeting, the city of Desert Hot Springs has chosen Rick Daniels to fill the city manager position.
Daniels was chosen in a 4-to-0 vote.
NewsChannel 3 was at Wednesday night’s meeting which included the early exit of Mayor Bias.
As he left, Bias told NewsChannel 3 that he felt as if he wasn’t being listened to and that his opinion didn’t matter.
Bias has previously stated that the best time to choosea newcity manager was after November elections.
Daniels is the current director of the Salton Sea Authoritiy. Desert Hot Springs city attorney Ruben Durran will lead neotiations to determine Daniels’ salary and benefits.
Wednesday night’s decision may put an end to a saga that has lasted over a month in Desert Hot Springs.
The previous permanent city manager, Ann Marie Gallant, resigned August 9th around the same timeher performance review was being done. She held the position for almost a year and a half.
Gallant or the city have not specified the reason for the resignation. Both sides later agreed to a severance compensation package for Gallant.
A few days after the resignation and in a special weekend session, the city council appointed John Hensley, a former interim DHS police chief, as interim city manager. He held the position for only one day after resigning himself. Sources in the city council said Hensley couldn’t take the pressure from the media.
A week after Gallant’s resignation, assistant city manager Steven Mendoza was appointed to the job on an interim basis.
Along with the position’s revolving door, heated debate arose in the city council over choosing the next city manager.
On September 5, the city council used a special session to choose between two candidates, Daniels and former CEO of the Morongo Indians Allen Parker.
That meeting would stretch into the early morning hours of the next day without a decision.
Parker later dropped out of the running leaving Daniels as the lone candidate.
The debate in the city council, though, emphasized on the timing of the decision.
Mayor Bias stated that November should be the right time to pick a new city manager. But in an act of defiance, the city council pushed foward with the decision culminating in Daniels being named.