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Goleta City Manager Dan Singer

Paul Wellman

Goleta City Manager Dan Singer


Drama, Goleta-Style

City’s Highest-Paid Employee Subject of Grueling Performance Evaluation


Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Members of the Goleta City Council, in addition to the city’s attorney, Tim Giles, spent most of last Friday and this Monday in special closed-session meetings deliberating over City Manager Dan Singer’s annual performance evaluation. The meetings attracted some questions ​— ​Singer (pictured) is the city’s highest-paid employee, at $202,277 a year ​— ​as the agendas for each noted, in addition to the performance review, an item related to the “discipline/dismissal/release” of a public employee. At the end of Monday’s meeting, the council said that no reportable action had been taken, but city staff noted that the discussions on the matter are not over and will continue at another regularly scheduled closed-session meeting on November 5.

The city hasn’t made any statement on the disciplinary agenda item, but said that the review is consistent with Singer’s three-year contract. At the end of Monday’s session, Singer ​— ​who has served as city manager since September 2005 and previously held the same position for the City of Ojai ​— ​said that the meetings would only result in “minor changes” to his contract. “Be sure to report that I’m going to be around,” he said.

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An eight hour performance review must have been a tortuous ordeal. Most executives would have quietly resigned "for personal reasons" long before it came to such prolonged and tedious water-boarding. I wonder what Singer's motivation could be to continue working for a City Council that is so obviously unhappy with his performance.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 8:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You can draw an equally opposite conclusion.

Maybe Singer was unhappy with the city and was being recruited by other agency offers, and wanted to put it all out on the table to see what could best work out for all concerned.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 11:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess I'm out of touch with salaries because that seems like a lot when 'we are broke'. Isn't there any young talent we can break in for half price?

spacey (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll do it.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter, the info that got out seems to point to a reduction in both the term of contract and pay. If Singer had other options, I imagine he would have exercised them by now. And Loonpt, judging your character solely on the basis of your posts, I would think that you would hate that job. It requires, among other things, that you smile politely and nod your head when your extinct is to slam your palm on the table and burst forth in obscenities of righteous indignation. You don't strike me as a smile politely and nod your head kind of person.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
October 31, 2013 at 2 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckermann: "extinct" -> "instinct"

$200K+ seems like an awful lot of money for the size of Goleta.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 12:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Classic american business model: pinch the guy so bad he gets irritated and leaves then they can hire someone cheaper and younger. or maybe they can outsource his job to india?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 9:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

jobs with this kind of pay don't get outsourced. They outsource the small guy, not the execs or managers.

spacey (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 1:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is City Council finally taking the reins of government from the bureaucracy?

neighbor (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 2:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for the editorial correction Sezme. That's what I get for relying too much on the new spell check function. It is difficult for me to make a judgment about how appropriate Mr. Singer's current salary is for his position. I would have to have more data about the going rate for city managers in other California cities the size of Goleta with similar budgets and staff levels. It certainly sounds like a lot of money, but I will withhold judgment until I have more information.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 3:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What is the size of the budget, the size of operations and number or personnel to manage in Goleta. Then compare his $200K to the CEOs of SB, Westmont, SBCC, UCSB, or Cottage Hospital to see CEO salary equivalencies. Then compare it to CEOs in the larger Goleta cube farm operations.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 1, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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