TDPUD forges ahead after GM dismissal
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the Truckee Donner Public Utility District made the decision to remove Rem Scherzinger as general manager, a position he’d held since July.
During a Wednesday interview with the Sierra Sun, Interim General Manager Brian Wright clarified some of the aspects surrounding’s Scherzinger’s dismissal and the plans for the district going forward.
“The board went through a difficult process here,” said Wright. “Our approach at this point from a staff level is to continue to move forward, to continue to provide high level service and to continue with the strategic planning process because those are important for the community.”
Few details surrounding the removal are available, according to Wright, due to Scherzinger being terminated without cause.
“A no cause separation comes with not a whole lot of detail and that’s to protect the interest of both Rem and his family, and the district,” said Wright. “All parties agreed to this ahead of time, and if there was a separation, that this is the route they’d go and it’s important for us to honor that.”
Scherzinger’s contract ran through July 31, 2023, and paid a base salary of $275,000. Since Scherzinger was terminated without cause, his contract states he is due a severance payment equal to 12 months of his base salary along with pay for continuation of health insurance befits for six months. He is also to be compensated for all vacation leave, paid holidays, and prorated administrative leave that would accrue during 12 months following his termination.
To facilitate the search Truckee Donner Public Utility District contracted with Peckham & McKenney, Inc. for the amount of $26,000 for the recruitment of a general manager.
While time and energy were spent in the search for a general manager, Wright said much of what was gained from meetings with community, staff and the board is still relevant.
“What the board is looking for in terms of those skillsets and qualifications hasn’t changed,” said Wright. “The investment in time and money in that isn’t lost. It gets reapplied to the next search.”
Wright added that the district still has information on more than 100 candidates from the last recruitment process.
In the meantime, Wright said it will be business as usual for the district, which is now gathering public input on its strategic planning process. The district will be having a virtual focus group on Jan. 7. For more information, visit http://www.tdpud.org.
*The original article incorrectly stated the district contracted with Peckham & McKenney for the amount of $54,340 to recruit a new general manager. That amount was part of a contract for recruitment of a general manager and chief financial officer. Peckham & McKinney stated that all-inclusive professional fess for the two recruitment processes was $49,400.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643.
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