Los Banos City Manager Terminated

Los Banos Talk

On March 22, 2021 the Los Banos City Council met in a public closed session, and voted 4-1 to terminate then City Manager Alex Terrazas. Council Members Deborah Lewis, Kenneth Lambert, Brett Jones, and Refugio Llamas voted "yes" to terminate the City Manager, with Mayor Tom Faria voting "no". You can watch the meeting here.

The press release issued by the city indicated that the decision to separate was mutual, and that the City had reached a separation agreement with Terrazas, which ended his employment with the City immediately.

In the same closed session meeting the City Council voted 5-0 to appoint current City Police Chief Gary Brizzee, to hold the dual position of Acting City Manager, effective immediately until a new City Manager is found.

In a press release issued by the City of Los Banos, Acting City Manager Gary Brizzee said, “It is an honor to serve the City Council and residents of Los Banos in the capacity of Acting City Manager. Our goal as staff is to continue to provide great service to our community.”

Regarding the decision to appoint the City Police Chief to the dual role of Acting Police Chief, Tom Faria stated, “The Council is confident that Gary possesses the vital knowledge, skills, and understanding of the City’s operations and that he will continue to lead the City going forward.”

According to the City press release, which can be seen here, " The search for a new permanent City Manager is anticipated to start immediately."

Terrazas contract would have expired June 30, 2021, and the City will still have to pay his salary and full benefits until such time. This is standard practice with City Manager contracts. Acting City Manager Gary Brizzee will receive a pay increase to compensate for the extra duties and responsibilities. Terrazas was technically "terminated without cause", meaning he did not do anything unethical etc. that would warrant prompt termination. The decision to terminate his contract early was political, but council members do not seem comfortable providing their reasons for seeking his early termination.

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