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AGOURA HILLS : City Manager Plans to Resign Position

Agoura Hills City Manager Terry Matz said Friday that he plans to resign from his position to become city manager of Stanton, in Orange County, a post he held before.

Matz, 43, who came to Agoura Hills in June, 1993, said the Stanton job is a “good opportunity” which involves less commuting from his home in the City of Industry.

“It’s a community that is vibrant, that I know, that I have worked in,” he said.

Matz leaves at a time of turmoil for the Agoura Hills city government--recently, a group of citizens waged a recall battle against all members of the City Council. But Matz said this had nothing to do with his decision.

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“I’m having a good, positive experience in Agoura Hills,” he said. “It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the recall. The recall by far has been overshadowed by all the good things that have gone on in Agoura Hills.”

Matz, who is paid about $84,000 annually for the Agoura Hills job, informed the City Council of his decision during an executive session Wednesday. He said his last day will be March 2 and that his new job will pay $85,000 annually.

Mayor Louise Rishoff said she regrets Matz’s departure, which was a surprise to her.

“I must say it was something that I worried about during the recall, but now we are through with the recall,” she said. “I know he said (the recall) did not occasion his decision, but it has to have taken a toll on him.”

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Members of the recall group--which did not, according to city and county officials, get enough signatures to force a vote--say they will continue their fight in the courts.

Matz said his major accomplishment in the Agoura Hills post was helping restore the city to sound fiscal health.

“As a result of actions the council took, our budget is now balanced and we are moving forward,” he said.

But several of Matz’s budget-cutting measures angered members of the community. Soon after he took the post, he closed City Hall on Fridays, causing some residents to complain it caused delays in getting city services.

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More importantly, Matz drafted the proposal--eventually approved by the council--that levied a 4% utility tax on residents.

The tax, which city officials said was needed to close a $1-million budget gap, was said to have sparked the recall effort.

Matz served as city manager of Stanton from July, 1989, to May, 1993. There, he will replace Greg Hulsizer, who resigned earlier this month to take a job in the private sector, according to Stanton Mayor Harry Dotson.

Matz’s appointment was unanimously approved by the Stanton City Council, said Dotson, who called Matz “an extremely talented manager and leader” with “a proven track record of success in helping us meet our goals.”

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Agoura Hills City Councilwoman Fran Pavley said that the council does not have a replacement and that it will discuss the matter over the next few weeks.


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