Covina City Manager John R. Thomson, who recommended the controversial utility tax that led to a recall of the entire City Council, has resigned.
Thomson, who could not be reached for comment, will work his last day today. Mayor Henry Morgan announced Thomson’s resignation at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
In an interview, Morgan said that Thomson “thought (his resignation) would be better for the transition” of five new council members who will take office after the November election.
“This will give the new council a chance to select someone of their liking,” Morgan said.
Morgan said Thomson, who was hired in 1987 and has about 30 years of experience in city government, also wanted to save himself the grief of working for a council that might blame the city’s financial woes on staff members. “They’d be going after him pretty heavily.”
Thomson will be replaced by Assistant City Manager Fran Delach, who will act as interim city manager until the new council appoints a permanent one.
For weeks, Morgan said, Thomson has made it known he was available to take the city manager post in another city. At 58, Thomson is still several years away from retirement, according to Morgan.
Council critics have said that Thomson’s salary of about $105,000 a year is exorbitant, considering the city’s tight budget. Council members have countered that they are paying Thomson an average salary compared with surrounding cities.