Rio Vista City Manager Hector De La Rosa will no longer be employed by the city once his contract expires in April.
During a closed session meeting Thursday night, the council decided not to offer a new contract to De La Rosa. City Councilman Fred Kogler abstained from the vote.
Mayor Jan Vick had said earlier in the week that during the closed session the council would determine whether it should extend the contract but would not comment further on a personnel matter.
De La Rosa could not be reached for comment after the council's decision. But before the meeting, he said he was willingly putting the decision in the council's hands.
"I'm just waiting for the council's decision," he said, adding that he has been a resident of the city since he was hired four years ago.
Residents adamantly opposed to negotiating a new contract with De La Rosa were surprised by the council's decision.
"I thought for sure they were going to keep him," Shirley Goodie said. "We just knew they would give him a new contract. I'm very pleased."
Goodie led an effort to collect signatures for a vote of no-confidence in De La Rosa's performance as city manager. By the time of the council's decision, she had collected some 700 signatures in person and through email.
She'll hang onto those signatures, she said Friday, because she hasn't decided what to do with them now that De La Rosa isn't sticking around.
Earlier in the week,
De La Rosa was skeptical of the validity of the signatures because he couldn't verify that all signatures were from Rio Vista residents.
Still, he said even those signatures represented only a small segment of people and that the majority supported him and his work.
He said a lot of good has happened during his stint as city manager, including completion of more than a half-million dollars worth of road improvements; maintaining a balanced budget; and, more recently, an auditor's report that De La Rosa says found the city can meet its financial obligations.
Some discord stems from what Goodie and others perceive as a mishandling of funds from a state grant and the fact that the city has not filed a single audit report for those funds with the state controller.
Rio Vista received a grant of more than $800,000 in 2005 from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
It spent the money on facility improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
City officials contend the grant funding was depleted in 2009. In August, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve a report that was sent to the California Department of Housing and Community Development explaining that no money was spent from July 1, 2010, to June 30 of this year.
The report, however, should have been sent earlier this year. City leaders also needed to have filed an audit with the State Controller's office by March 31. By Monday, the single audit hadn't been received.
Earlier this week, Jacob Roper, spokesman for the State Controller's office, confirmed that Rio Vista had yet to submit a single audit report on how the funds were used. He added that even if Rio Vista didn't use any of the money this past year, an exemption for submitting an audit needed to be turned in, which also hadn't been done.
Until the single audit is filed, Rio Vista holds a noncompliance status, and state agencies were notified of this change. Under this status, state enforcement agencies can deny Rio Vista any additional grants and force the city to repay money that has already been used.
Roper said the state's office was notified last month by Rio Vista that it would receive the audit by Thursday. As of Friday, it hadn't been confirmed that the audit was submitted.