A city manager shuffle may be in the works in Palos Verdes Estates.
The city issued a notice Wednesday, April 3, of a special closed session meeting set for Friday, April 5.
Officials at the meeting—which is not open to the public or media—will discuss “a public employee discipline/dismissal/release” and a subsequent appointment of an “interim/acting” city manager, according to the agenda.
The current City Manager Anton “Tony” Dahlerbruch was not immediately available for comment and city staff declined to give further information.
“We have no comment on our end. The agenda is all the information that we’re giving out at this time,” City Clerk Lauren Petitt said in a April 3 interview.
The potential move comes following a city council makeover in the March 5 election.
Challengers Michael Kemps, David McGowan and Victoria Lozzi—the city’s treasurer—ousted incumbents Betty Lin Peterson and Councilmember Jennifer King, shifting majority on the panel.
Some residents, such as Bob Vasey, believe that, if Dahlerbruch is dismissed, is likely connected to the new leadership.
“There has been a lot of controversy,” Vasey said in a April 3 phone call. “It sounds to me like the new city council majority may be making a step towards making changes.”
Dahlerbruch, the former Rolling Hills city manager came to Palos Verdes Estates in 2013 and has earned roughly $274,622 a year, including additional pay and benefits. That makes him the highest paid employee in the city according to Transparent California’s public pay database.
His current contract with the city expires on Dec. 31, 2020, and specifies either party may terminate the contract earlier, according to city documents.
Per the agreement, in the event of termination “without cause,” the city would have to pay Dahlerbruch a lump sum equal to six months of pay.
Palos Verdes Estates has been rife with civic conflict in recent years, such as a longstanding land use lawsuit just settled this January and the passage of a parcel tax in 2018 to save the city’s police force.
Money issues have also plagued the exclusive bedroom community, leading to the formation of a financial advisory committee in 2017, which previously included Lozzi and currently includes McGowan.