LaSala survives vote on ouster

first_imgLaSala is midway into a four-year contract as the city’s top administrator. Developer and former California Republican Party chairman Frank Visco has led calls for LaSala’s ouster. Much of Visco’s criticism of LaSala stems from the pace of Amargosa Creek, a proposed 150-acre development that includes retail shops, restaurants, office space and possibly a Kaiser Permanente hospital. Visco said LaSala had an adversarial attitude toward the project and created a City Hall bureaucracy that was bringing all development, not just his project, to a crawl. Visco, one of Amargosa Creek’s developers, has been working on the project for at least two years with partner, and former Lancaster city manager, Jim Gilley. Visco said his issues go well beyond the Amargosa Creek project and his own personal interests. Visco said the city is not addressing issues such as crime and a shortage of hospital beds. LANCASTER – Lancaster City Council members decided not to oust embattled City Manager Bob LaSala on Tuesday, but a bid to make it harder to fire him in the future failed. Before a packed City Hall audience of more than 200 people, most council members said they supported LaSala – who has come under fire from developers – but a move to raise the minimum votes needed to fire him to four from three failed by a 3-2 vote. “I’m not going to watch us butcher the person we call our chief executive and I’m not going to watch us butcher each other,” said Councilman Andy Visokey. A second vote to lift the Dec. 31, 2008, expiration date from LaSala’s contract was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Ron Smith dissenting. Two months ago, the council voted to give LaSala a 7 percent raise, bringing his base salary to $243,155.70. LaSala’s defenders said he had done a good job for the city, particularly in the area of public safety. After years of little or no increase in staffing, LaSala pushed up spending on law enforcement by 40 percent since coming to the city. As for the pacing of the Amargosa Creek project, the time frame slipped in part because the nature of the project changed, LaSala’s defenders say. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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