City retains Stoufer, Kimbrough as consultants
Two retirees from Corning have been placed under contract to continue their services with the city, both as consultants.
But the decision by the City Council on Tuesday wasn't without some opposition from the public.
With a unanimous vote, the council agreed to go into a part-time planning consultant contract with retiring Planning Director John Stoufer, starting July 1, at a cost of $40 an hour.
The contract includes a mutual indemnity clause stating the city will indemnify, defend and hold planning consultant harmless for "those acts, including acts which may result in damages to another, arising during the course and within the scope of his services provided to the city."
Corning resident Susan Price told the City Council she had an issue with the indemnity clause being included in the contract. "This is unusual. It is my understanding a true consultant has their own liability insurance," she said.
City attorney Michael Fitzpatrick explained that due to the nature of Stoufer's duties as a consultant, such as code enforcement, the mutual indemnity clause was needed.
At the request of Councilman John Leach, the contract was changed from an "either party" termination agreement of 60 days to 30 days.
The term of the contract is for one year, ending June 30, 2013.
Stoufer was hired by the city as planning director in 2008, and in 2010 began working part-time for city and part-time as its interim planning director for Tehama County.
The City Council also approved, on a 4-1 vote, a contract agreement with former City Manager Steve Kimbrough as a budget consultant, much like the one he has been working under since his retirement on the last day of February.
The new contract sets the pay rate at $60 per hour, instead of the monthly lump sum of $4,500. He will be working with City Manager John Brewer on an "as needed basis."
Leach said he voted against the contract because he believes it is time for Kimbrough to be "done."
"He is retired and it is time for him to go on and have fun with his life," Leach said.
Kimbrough's one-year contract also includes mutual indemnity provisions, a 30-day termination agreement, and ends June 30, 2013.
Former City Councilman Ross Turner wanted to know why the council did not open the positions for everyone to apply, rather than just appointing retired employees.
Brewer said he needs someone with Stoufer's experience and knowledge of the city on hand to assist him.
Price referred to the contract agreements with the two retirees as "cronyism."