It looks as though the City of Eureka is getting ready to dismiss or otherwise punish one of its highest-ranking staff members at a special meeting tomorrow.
The Eureka City Council will convene in closed session tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The only item on the agenda for this special meeting, notice for which was sent out early this morning, is titled “Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release.”
It is very unusual for the city council itself to fire or discipline staff members. Generally, such personnel items are handled administratively, through the City Manager’s office.
Councilmembers Austin Allison and Kim Bergel, reached separately today, each told the Outpost that they could not comment on the matter. But City Clerk Pam Powell told us that the special, closed-session meetings of this sort can pertain to only one of three city employees.
“The Council has three employees that work directly for them, the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk,” Powell wrote us. “Any action taken against any of these officials requires action of the Council.”
Powell later added that while Section 602 the of the Eureka City Charter mandates the council must approve the firing of any head of a city department, such actions are taken in open session of the council — not closed session, as will happen tomorrow.
A voicemail left with City Manager Greg Sparks was not returned by the time of this writing.
The Eureka City Council meets in closed session in its chambers at Eureka City Hall (531 K Street) at 1 p.m. tomorrow. If any action is taken, it will be reported to the public at the end of the closed-session meeting.