Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kern County Grand Jury Report Dominates City Council Meeting, Miller Calls for Council Censure of Thompson

City Manager Gorson Blast Councilman Thompson as "Rogue Councilman" at Thursday News Conference, Says Stress at City Harming Employes
by Michael Long - February 20, 2010

Pubishers Note: In order to give the reader a more complete version and better understanding of the conflict at the Tuesday Taft City Council, The Independent has posted several videos on the Taft Independent Facebook page presenting each city councilperson's remarks on the ongoing debate over the Kern County Grand Jury. If you are not a member of Facebook, simply go to and register - it is a free service and search for Taft Independent. The Independent's Facebook page will be displayed with the video's available for view in the order that the council persons spoke at Tuesday's meeting. Also, City Manager Bob Gorson held a wide ranging 30 minute news conference refuting claims made by Councilman Cliff Thompson, calling Thompson a "Rogue" City Councilman who is playing games and hurting the city.

A recently released Kern County Grand Jury Report that criticized City Manager Bob Gorson, and the Taft City Council dominated the Taft City Council meeting on Tuesday evening.
Councilman Cliff Thompson, who was cited by the Grand Jury for having "violated public trust", gave a Power Point slide presentation to the council critical of Gorson, Councilman Randy Miller and the Independent for its new coverage of the City Council.
Later, Councilman Paul Linder read a prepared statement critical of Thompson apologizing to the public for the embarrassing media coverage of the Grand Jury investigation.
"When personal agenda's, dishonesty and release of privileged information occurs in an attempt to move the attention away from poor decisions or dishonesty, it becomes a sad time in our history," Linder said.
Linder also read a statement from Councilman Randy Miller who was absent from the meeting which called on the council to censure Thompson.
"I ask this council to consider Council censure of Mr. Thompson, as he has not lived up to his responsibilities as a Taft City Councilman," Miller wrote.
Mayor Dave Noerr also made a statement about the Grand Jury findings, rejecting the reports finding that the council had failed in it fiduciary responsibilities.
In another development on the infighting at Taft City Hall, Taft City Manager Bob Gorson held a wide ranging 30 minute news conference on Thursday where he defended his tenure as City Manager, and called Councilman Cliff Thompson a "Rogue Councilman" whose harassment of city employees has caused enough stress that city employees required medical treatment.
Gorson said that Thompson had approached him about employment with the City of Taft but said that as long as he was city manager, Thompson would never be an employee of the city.
Gorson also rejected Thompson's claim at Tuesday's City Council meeting that he had offered Thompson a public safety job with the city.
All videos of councilmen statements and Gorson news conference can be seen in their entirety on the Taft Independent's Facebook page.

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