I have asked the City of Foster City who was responsible for placing it on the Agenda for both August 25, and August 31, 2021 Closed Session Meetings? There has been no response to those questions.
Good morning Jennifer, I do have another question or possibly two, can you tell me which City Council member requested the Closed Session Meeting on August 25, 2021 and August 31, 2021? Thank You Michael G. Stogner. San Mateo County News.com
I asked San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy (a Foster City resident on the Citizen Ad Hoc Committee) if any of the councilmembers contacted him prior to them firing Dr. Peter Pirnejad?
Michael Callagy <firstname.lastname@example.org>To:Michael StognerMon, Aug 30 at 3:47 PM
Hi Mike,I heard about his firing from another city manager a few days after he was fired. We were at lunch. I was not aware there was a closed session on this matter. In fact you are the first I heard that from. Though I asked that Peter sit on a panel for a discussion on equity awhile back, I never really had an opportunity to get to know him. Best regards, MikeGet Outlook for iOS
From: Michael Stogner <email@example.com> Sent: Monday, August 30, 2021 7:30 AM To: Michael Callagy Subject: Foster City Fired City Manager. CAUTION: This email originated from outside of San Mateo County. Unless you recognize the sender’s email address and know the content is safe, do not click links, open attachments or reply.
Hello Mike, Did anybody from Foster City contact you in advance of the August 25, 2021 Closed Session Meeting that resulted in Dr. Peter Prinejad being terminated. Do you have any comment on this Termination especially since the Assistant City Manager just left that position a couple of weeks prior? Thank You Michael G. Stogner
San Mateo County News.com
I asked San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe if any of the Foster City Councilmembers contacted his office to make a criminal complaint against Dr. Peter Pirnejad the New City Manager of Foster City?
Stephen Wagstaffe <firstname.lastname@example.org>To:Michael Stogner Sat, Sep 4 at 11:52 AM
Good morning Michael,
No. Everything I have heard about the situation is what I have read in your reports.
From: Michael Stogner <email@example.com> Sent: Saturday, September 4, 2021 6:56 AM To: Stephen Wagstaffe <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Foster City’s fired City Manager Dr. Peter Pirnejad
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of San Mateo County. Unless you recognize the sender’s email address and know the content is safe, do not click links, open attachments or reply.
Good morning Steve,
Did any of Foster City council members file a criminal complaint against Dr. Peter Pirnejad?
Did anybody for that matter?
Just because you have the authority to do something (Fire/Terminate) doesn’t mean that you should, or that it is the right or decent action to take. Super Majority Vote should be considered by the residents. This was clearly an issue between only 3 of the 5 council members. Mayor Sanjay Gehani, F.C. Councilman Jon Froomin voted against the firing of Dr. Peter Pirnejad.
The Gang of 3 Hindi, Awasthi, Sullivan is betting against the residents of Foster City, they are fully aware that the residents recently organized and successfully recalled Herb Perez the Vice Mayor for his disgusting and vulgar behavior towards the public, they stood up for decency. The political experts recommended against the recall, they said just wait until the next election and vote for someone you think is better. The residents took positive action and corrected the problem themselves. They have the same opportunity before them now, brought on by 3 elected officials who without any public comment or involvement chose to fire the newly appointed City Manager, at a cost of $300,000 to the Taxpayers.
Mayor Sanjay Gehani and Councilman Jon Froomin voted against the firing of City Manager Dr. Peter Prinejad. What’s next, perhaps a recall, maybe change to a Super Majority Vote to avoid abuse, time will tell.
One thing the residents have learned is don’t wait for anything, take action, don’t bother asking anyone to resign.
Here are the e-mails that 5 residents sent to the F.C. Council before the 6:00 PM Closed Session Meeting held August 31, 2021
Foster City Public Comment email@example.com; Yelena Cappello; Priscilla Schaus; Laurie Rith; Rob Lasky; Aaron Siu; Austin Walsh Firing of City Tuesday, August 31, 2021 11:06:22 AM
It has been a question asked by many residents as to why our City Mgr. was fired and we will be paying out his contract, while paying for an interim mgr. Will the residents of Foster City be made aware of the dynamics of this situation. If not , why not? C.Gilbert
Foster City Public Comment firstname.lastname@example.org; Yelena Cappello; Priscilla Schaus; Laurie Rith; Rob Lasky; Aaron Siu; Austin Walsh FW: Kevin Miller Tuesday, August 31, 2021 12:21:21 PM
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 11:12 AM To: City Council <CityCouncil@fostercity.org> Subject: Kevin Miller
Soon you will be selecting an interim and then permanent city manager. I want to express my opinion on whom you should not select.
If Kevin Miller is one of the contenders you are considering, I urge you not to consider him for the city manager’s position.
I talked to staff, city managers, and council members for over a year during the sponsorship investigation. I find that Kevin Miller’s working style is a bit ad hoc and excessively relaxed. He was a part of the previous corrupt regime and one of the enablers to the recalled councilmember.
Thank you, Shankar Kenkre
Tonight you will be selecting an Interim City Manager. Many residents are concerned about the following:
1. Fiscal Responsibility: Total cost to taxpayers is $293,000.00 for pay-out to fire City Manager without cause and wasted executive search fees
2. Timing is Suspect – Why are you doing this at a time when our City is most vulnerable: No Assistant manager to take over; Covid Delta variant emergency; and local control of our City lost to the State and to developers (SB-9, SB-10 and RHNA)?
3. Transparency: There are several recent examples of other cities providing their constituents with valid reasons for firing their city managers. You, however, refuse to explain why you felt it necessary to fire ours WithOut Cause. If there was a Valid reason, there would have been a unanimous vote, Not the 3 – 2 vote that seems to be trending on development issues.
4. Residents are wondering why three councilmembers, Hindi, Awasthi and Sullivan (the same 3 who tried to bulldoze a vote to sell our golf course to developers) are pushing this maneuver. Are you putting in someone more amenable to enabling your agenda to sell public land to developers?
Signed, Eva Hess
Foster City Public Comment email@example.com; Yelena Cappello; Priscilla Schaus; Laurie Rith; Rob Lasky; Aaron Siu; Austin Walsh Interim City Manager Tuesday, August 31, 2021 2:59:42 PM
Foster City Public Comment firstname.lastname@example.org; Yelena Cappello; Priscilla Schaus; Laurie Rith; Rob Lasky; Aaron Siu; Austin Walsh FW: City Manager Tuesday, August 31, 2021 4:56:29 PM
From: marianne wallace <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 4:41 PM To: City Council <CityCouncil@fostercity.org>; City Council <CityCouncil@fostercity.org>; Sanjay Gehani <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Richa Awasthi <email@example.com>; Jon Froomin <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Sam Hindi <email@example.com> Subject: City Manager
First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to read my email. As a resident of Foster City since 2007, I am shocked to read that the City Council let our City Manager go with no regard for the public or public opinion. You all were voted in to speak for US. To let someone go, with everything else going on in this city, is in poor judgement. I think we are owed an explanation as to why OUR tax dollars (close to $300,000 of them) are being thrown out the window. I’d also like to know why there is a meeting to hire a replacement this quickly after placing Chief Avalar in the job (why such a rush to find the replacement – did you have a candidate in mind this whole time?
I’ve never seen bureaucracy move so quickly! This feels dirty, it feels like there could possibly be a Brown Act violation going on behind the scenes, and it feels like the city is being betrayed. Please know that the city is watching, we see this. We deserve an explanation. I look forward to hearing back from you and hope to get an honest response.
Thanks, Marianne Wallace
Foster City Public Comment firstname.lastname@example.org; Yelena Cappello; Priscilla Schaus; Laurie Rith; Rob Lasky; Aaron Siu; Austin Walsh FW: City Manager Tuesday, August 31, 2021 5:05:59 PM
From: Randy Pilgrim <email@example.com>Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 5:05 PM To: City Council <CityCouncil@fostercity.org>Subject: City Manager
I had a couple of comments about the upcoming appointment of an interim City Manager.
First, I can’t help but wonder what is the big hurry to make the appointment?
It seems odd to me that there is currently no Assistant City Manager to take over during this process.
I’m also very concerned about the cost to the taxpayers of Foster City, $270,000 to buy off the current manager when he could have been fired for cause, if cause indeed existed, plus an additional $23,000 set aside to carry out a search for a replacement for a total taxpayer burden of $293,000.
All of this is being carried out behind closed doors under the guise of confidentiality. This is not a private sector job. The City Manager is public sector job, paid for with taxpayer money. It is my personal belief that as a resident and taxpayer, I have a right to know the reason for the dismissal and why he wasn’t terminated for cause, as well as the necessity to carry all of this out behind closed doors.
Something about all of this seems underhanded to me, and I would like to request that the Foster City residents be included in the rational and process.
Randy Pilgrim 845 Castor St. Foster City
There were NO E-MAILS sent by residents for the August 25, 2021 Closed Session Meeting.
Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release (Government Code § 54957)
You will remember it was just a few days ago Richa Awasthi,Sam Hindi, Patrick Sullivan voted to FIRE Dr. Peter Pirnejad, the newly hired City Manager, in a Closed Session Meeting on August 25, 2021. Mayor Sanjay Gehani and councilmemberJon Froomin voted against that.
Tonight in another closed session meeting, guess what they are going to do? Fill that position with the person they planned to fill it with all along.
Why didn’t they just appoint this person at the August 25, 2021 Closed Session Meeting?
What about the wasting of Police Chief Tracy Avelar’s time and energy, as she was just appointed acting City Manager and given a 5% raise with the new title, or the Citizens Ad Hoc Committee, which vetted Dr. Peter Pirnejad which included San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy. I can confirm the that Mike Callagy had no idea that there was any problem with Dr. Peter Pirnejad with the three councilmembers, and he was completely unaware of the August 25, 2021 Closed Session Meeting which resulted in City Manager being Fired without cause.
This has been a Very Expensive adventure that the Taxpayers of Foster City get to pay, the Nine month salary and benefits to Dr. Pirnejad is about $270,000 plus the Fee to Avery & Associates $23,400 the Recruitment Hiring Firm.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021 6:00 PM
CALL TO ORDER
ROLL CALL Councilmembers/ex officio EMID Directors Richa Awasthi, Jon Froomin, Sam Hindi, Patrick Sullivan and Mayor/President Sanjay Gehani
PUBLIC Pursuant to Government Code Section 54954.3(a), members of the public wishing to address the Council may do so, and the comments shall be limited to the Special Meeting notice topic(s). Speakers may join the Zoom meeting via the meeting link and using the “raise hand” feature and the Zoom host will call on people.
4.1. Public Employment (Government Code § 54957)
Title: Interim City/District Manager
Residents might want to make a comment tonight, before the meeting takes place.
Something for the Foster City Residents to think about is this, If there was really something wrong with the hire of Dr. Peter Pirnejad the VOTE would have been 5-0 in favor of firing him. It wasn’t, it was 3-2 with 3 yes votes to terminate.
Last night August 25, 2021 at a Closed Session Meeting Three council members terminated the new City Manager they just hired in January. They just cost the Taxpayers 9 months of his income. You would think after a national search and all the vetting that is involved to find the right person for the job plus a Pandemic that the three Hindi, Awasthi, Sullivan would have been able to work out whatever the problem was.
It’s pretty telling by the vote this termination was driven by Hindi, Awasthi, Sullivan. The question is What was it? Time will tell it always does.
Council voted 3-2 to Terminate City Manager
Yes: Hindi, Awasthi, Sullivan
No: Gehani, Froomin
Council voted 5-0 to appoint Police Chief Tracy Avelar as Acting City Manager.
A few things to consider San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy was involved in the hiring and vetting process. Was he advised or informed about the termination in advance?
$273,000 severance pay is the immediate cost to the Taxpayers of Foster City.
Is a Police Chief qualified to be an acting city manager at the same time she has a Full Time job?