Grass Valley to pay $81K for city administrator’s resignation |

Grass Valley to pay $81K for city administrator’s resignation

Christopher Rosacker
Staff Writer

As the city of Grass Valley moves ahead with its search for a new municipal executive, it will spend more than $81,000 to honor a severance agreement with former City Administrator Dan Holler, whose resignation was announced in late August.

Holler's severance includes three months of aggregate salary plus a final payout of accumulated leave balances "in accordance with the law," said Finance Director Roberta Raper in an email response to The Union's request for Holler's compensation.

"He proposed that in his letter of resignation, and the council approved it in open session last week," said City Attorney Michael Colantuono in an email, referencing a special Sept. 4 meeting of the council where only two items appeared on the agenda: the acceptance of Holler's resignation letter and approval of an interim city administrator.

"I just need a motion to approve (Holler's) letter of resignation," Colantuono said at that Sept. 4 meeting, which the council unanimously adopted without discussion.

The agenda for the special meeting described Holler's resignation letter as a "Receive and File" item only, with no mention of the expenditure of funds. In convening the meeting, City Mayor Dan Miller said there was nothing to report out of the pre-meeting, closed-door session. No staff report for this item is available on the city's website. The Union requested a copy of Holler's resignation letter late Wednesday, which the city indicated it would provide today.

"In the event Employee terminates his employment with the City by resignation, in writing… the city shall have no obligation to provide thirty (30) days advance notice or to pay the severance pay set forth," reads Hollers employment contract that was provided by the city.

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As the city searches for Holler's replacement, it is not paying Public Works Director Tim Kiser additional funds to fill in as acting city administrator, according to Colantuono. However, the city is paying Jeff Foltz $65 an hour, for an estimated 30 hours per week, to act as a consultant.

Foltz, who was eyed as interim city administrator, previously served in that role for Grass Valley prior to Holler's 2008 hiring. California's employee pension program prohibits someone from being employed in that position twice, according to CalPERS spokeswoman Amy Norris.

Foltz's role as a consultant is expected to remain until he facilitates a way for the city to hire him in an interim capacity without violating pension policy, or until the city hires Holler's replacement, which Colantuono said would ideally last no longer than six to eight weeks.

After more than five years as the city administrator, Holler's late-August resignation was officially announced two days after an Aug. 27 closed-door employment evaluation by the Grass Valley City Council, for which he was not present.

Prior to the evaluation that preceded Holler's resignation, his last employment evaluation was completed on July 17, 2012, Raper indicated. His most recent employment contract was adopted on July 26, 2011, and took effect the first of July that same year. That contract had no end date.

Holler's total 2012 compensation was $204,614. His 2013 salary and benefits were budgeted for slightly less, although the city only paid nearly $144,000, not including the severance pay, because of his resignation prior to the year's conclusion.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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