Xenia Bradford has been named acting city manager for the City of Solvang, making her the fourth manager to run that city in the past two years. With the election of Mayor Ryan Toussaint and a new council majority, a brisk and relentless broom has been sweeping through Solvang City Hall, with resignations, retirements and replacements of high-ranking officials taking place at a breakneck pace.
Gone is the former city attorney, the former planning director, the former finance director, and a former independent auditor. Most, but not all, of these posts have since been filled. Propelling this turnover are questions relating to how city money — about $1.2 million a year — earmarked for tourism promotions has been spent. More than $800,000 of such expenditures, over a five-year period, reportedly remain unaccounted for.
Before her appointment, Bradford held down the post of Solvang’s Administrative Services czar. She fills the post vacated by David Gassaway, he functioned as city manager for about six months before being asked to leave.