Port Hueneme townhall: residents provide City Manager hiring criteria

City holds special session for residents to weigh-in on hiring criteria

By George Miller

On Tuesday night, 3-29-016, the City of Port Hueneme held a townhall session for residents to present their ideas for what they want in a new City Manager. Recruiter Bill Avery has already talked to Council members about this. He and they are wisely consulting residents for their input as well. Former City Manager Cynthia Haas announced her retirement last fall and officially left December 21. Interim City Manager John Baker is now proposing draconian cuts to the budget and implementing efficiency measures, which must be done unless more revenues are found.

KADYTV2Event Video by http://kadytv.com


Port Hueneme has had much financial and political turmoil in recent years. Run by a longtime, tight-knit council, the City has been pressed on all sides by higher expenses, stagnant revenues, dwindling reserves and more recently, political dissent. Two new members were elected to the council in November, 2014 and have aggressively pushed their agenda, causing  a political backlash from the remaining members, their City Manager and City Attorney, Mark Hensley. It would be fair to say that the old group is pretty much allied on several contentious issues, in opposition to the two newer members.

City Manager Cynthia Haas retired last fall, possibly at least in part because of the catalog of major issues facing the city and pressure fro the new members to make changes and be more transparent. The City settled a “harassment” complaint with her for a substantial sum, to avoid prolonged, extensive litigation and move on. We won’t explore that further in this article, but believe that at least a mention of it is needed to help put things in perspective.


We present the following for your examination:

HUD Letter to City Manager 10-7-15

Cynthia Haas retirement letter:



“Leaving for personal reasons”:

Former Port Hueneme city manager paid $279,000 …

John Baker
Interim City Manager

John Baker was appointed Interim City Manager in December 2015. As Interim City Manager, Mr. Baker has full authority and provides the City Council with policy recommendations, implements Council direction and oversees the day-to-day operations of the City. Mr. Baker has over 30 years of experience in working for local government, including but not limited to holding the positions of Assistant City Manager for the City Oakland, City Manager for City of Ventura, Interim City Manager positions for Ojai and Redondo Beach, as well as the Assistant Chief Executive Officer for the County of Santa Barbara. SOURCE
Locals: Tune in to NextDoor.com Pt Hueneme:
Received from PH activist Tom Dunn:
Go to Next Door Port Hueneme to see Sharkey’s quote and my article.  Also Sharkey was on his phone a lot when people were speaking.  Ann Klass was interviewing Sharkey after the meeting. TD

George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard.

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