I was saddened to hear that Walnut City Manager Linda Holmes will be retiring soon; not because she hasn't earned it, she has. I am sad and angry to see that the harassment by a handful of residents and actions by the City Council has succeeded in turning City Hall upside down and resulted in this undeserved conclusion to a remarkable career.
Her 33 years of public service is exemplified by the outstanding job she has done over the past 10 years at the helm in Walnut. By every measure, the city has improved dramatically. The paradox is that her aggressive attention to the city's well-being and her desire to provide fiscal security in the city's future has caused the ire of the "Old Guard." They will stop at nothing to prevent growth of any kind, even the managed growth, proposed by staff, so sorely needed to generate the revenue for the very services these residents demand.
The most disruptive tactic in their strategy has been the continual harassment and false allegation of misconduct and mismanagement against Holmes and city employees. The daily demand for information, time spent dealing with these people and their assertions have not only halted growth, but effectively shut down city government. Furthermore, the lack of action by the council to stop the unwarranted harassment and disruption has demoralized all city employees.
Holmes' early retirement will be a tremendous loss to the city. More sobering, however, is the thought that the current City Council has until the November election to further screw up all that has been accomplished over the past decade.