South Lake Tahoe City Council approves agreement with interim city manager | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Lake Tahoe City Council approves agreement with interim city manager

Dirk Brazil

It's official: Dirk Brazil is the interim city manager.

South Lake Tahoe City Council formally approved Brazil's employment agreement on Tuesday, June 5.

Brazil, who previously served as the city manager of Davis before retiring, started in his new role directly after his contract was approved on Tuesday. He will serve until either the city hires a permanent city manager or either he or the city decides to terminate the agreement.

Brazil relieves South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Meston, who was appointed acting city manager when Nancy Kerry, the former city manager, was placed on indefinite leave in early February. A month after being placed on leave, Kerry and the city struck a separation agreement.

Under the agreement approved by a 4-0 vote (Councilmember Jason Collin was absent) Tuesday, Brazil will receive $103.85 per hour — the contract allows Brazil to set his own hours necessary to meet the expectations spelled out in the agreement, which anticipates Brazil working 30-40 hours per week. He will not receive any benefits or vacation time.

Brazil comes to South Lake Tahoe at a time with plenty of hot-button issues.

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The city is in the process of crafting cannabis regulations and revisiting some aspects of its vacation home rental (VHR) regulations, which were revised in late 2017. Among those revisions, the two $1,000-fines for individual violations have garnered negative national press.

City voters very well could have three different ballot questions — two dealing with VHRs and one dealing with cannabis — come November, when voters also will elect three members to City Council.

Additionally, the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office is investigating allegations put forward by Councilmember Brooke Laine. In an open letter sent to local media outlets, Laine alleged council had violated the Brown Act.

"Multiple violations of law have occurred in closed session, often relating to discussions involving personal attacks on non-agenda issues," she wrote.

The letter sparked a formal request from Mayor Wendy David, who asked the DA to investigate Laine's claims.

The DA's office previously confirmed to the Tribune that it was acting on the request, but would not comment on the specifics of the investigation.

Without speaking to any specifics, Brazil said on Tuesday that he had planned to stay retired but the interim position in South Lake Tahoe posed a "fantastic opportunity" to work on challenging issues. Brazil plans to keep his residence in Davis, likely traveling back on the weekends.

In a statement, David noted Brazil's expertise.

"We are very pleased to have someone of Mr. Brazil's caliber and experience join us and assist the city while recruiting for a permanent city manager," she said.

As for a permanent city manager, the city has contracted with Washington-based recruiting firm Prothman to recruit candidates for both the city manager position and city attorney position.