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More turnover in Cal City; yet another city manager

Contract negotiations with Marsh break apart, mayor says, instead Lamberth named acting city manager
Posted at 7:32 PM, Mar 13, 2024

CALIFORNIA CITY, Calif. (KERO) — Two major announcements come at California City council meeting, including yet another new acting city manager and a new council member.

  • Latisha Lamberth named acting city manager; LaShelle Cooper named council member at California City council meeting.
  • Cooper says she wants to help the city meet the 20 recommendations in the recent Kern County Grand Jury Report.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

It's been on the California City council agenda so often... it should no longer be considered "new business".

I'm Steve Virgen... your neighborhood reporter.

This week... the council talked about a new city manager for the 7th time in just over a year... but it was the first meeting since the release of a scathing grand jury report.

Patrick Marsh and Cal City officials agreed in principle to a deal that would make him the permanent city manager.

But Mayor Kelly Kulikoff told me contract negotiations broke apart before the meeting.

Instead, Latisha Lamberth was named acting city manager.

She is the seventh city manager within just a little over a year.

The frequent turnover was among the findings in the grand jury report.

Lamberth is also the city's human resources director.

In addition, the council unanimously voted for LaShelle cooper to take over the council seat that Karen Macedonio vacated... after stepping down following litigation battles with the city.

Cooper was among six applicants who were interviewed.

She will be on the council until November's election.

She was previously planning clerk for the planning department.

She said she wants to help the city meet the 20 recommendations from the grand jury report.

"We just have to get back to where the citizens need us to be. Because my main concern is, yes the city of California City, but who makes up the city of California City? Their concerns are important so we have to address those matters," Cooper said.

Kulikoff said he was relieved Cooper became council member.

The city had until Friday to decide on a council member otherwise they would have needed a special election that was estimated to cost $70,000 for a city strapped with fiscal challenges.

I'm Steve Virgen your Cal City neighborhood reporter.


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