UPDATED: Nancy Kerry reaches agreement with city of South Lake Tahoe, resigns as city manager | TahoeDailyTribune.com

UPDATED: Nancy Kerry reaches agreement with city of South Lake Tahoe, resigns as city manager

Main: Claire Cudahy/Tahoe Daily Tribune Inset: Provided/City of South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe City Council and City Manager Nancy Kerry have agreed to part ways exactly one month after Kerry was placed on paid leave.

The news came after City Council emerged from closed session Tuesday, March 6. Mayor Wendy David announced that City Council had accepted Kerry’s conditional letter of resignation, which hinged on council’s acceptance of a settlement agreement.

The settlement signed by Kerry and David agrees to pay Kerry $176,321 — the equivalent of nine months of Kerry’s salary. The city also agreed to cash out 339 hours of vacation time and 520 hours of sick leave.

They agreed to a non-disparagement clause — preventing both parties from writing anything “negative, defamatory or critical of the other party.”

The agreement notes that Kerry "alleged various claims against the city" and that "the city disputes all wrongdoing."

The city and Kerry are responsible for their own attorney fees. Both parties had the opportunity to participate in writing the agreement.

Kerry — who has served as city manager since 2012 — could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday evening. In her resignation letter, she noted her accomplishments and faith in the city's future.

"… I leave the city with a great deal of things to be proud of knowing the city is in good financial shape, significant progress on a myriad of issues was made, innumerable projects were completed and with a team of highly professional employees, the city will continue to provide the best of service to the public," Kerry wrote.

In a press release, David, who did not immediately respond to a phone message left by the Tribune, wished Kerry well.

"The council and I appreciate Ms. Kerry's service to the city. She has been able to move the city forward in significant ways," David said. "We wish her all the best in her next chapter."

Kerry was originally placed on indefinite leave Feb. 6. Citing a personnel matter, members of City Council refused to discuss why Kerry was placed on leave.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Meston was named acting city manager at the time Kerry was placed on leave. Meston will continue to serve in this capacity for the time being.

Her performance evaluation had been on the agenda for two consecutive meetings, including the Feb. 6 meeting, the Tribune previously reported. It was discussed in closed session, but council said there was no reportable action.

In October, less than four months after Kerry received a pay raise and positive review from City Council, the city entered into an agreement with Municipal Resource Group, LLC, for an “assessment of the City leadership effectiveness, the culture of the senior management team, succession planning status and related issues.”

The Tribune could not confirm what initiated the most recent review, however, some current and former members of council stated that using an outside firm for evaluating a city manager was not in line with normal protocol.

In speaking with seven current and former employees, the Tribune reported that some people at City Hall felt Kerry had created a workplace that was at best uncomfortable and at worst “toxic.” Prior to being placed on leave, Kerry said she was "shocked" by those claims.

After being placed on leave, Kerry did not respond to multiple voicemail messages left by the Tribune.

Prior to being placed on leave, Kerry hired Thomas Stuart as the principal human resources analyst. Ember Buckman was the interim human resource manager.

Stuart previously served as director of human resources for Alvarado Group Services, a construction company with over 200 employees located in California’s Central Valley, according to the city.

"We value all of our employees in the city with each and every one of them making great contributions to the community. With the addition of Tom as our Human Resources Analyst, we can ensure that our employees are being treated impeccably," Meston said in a press release.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify that Thomas Stuart was hired prior to Kerry being placed on leave. The story originally stated the city announced it had hired Stuart on March 1.

This story will be updated.

ORIGINAL POST

South Lake Tahoe City Council and City Manager Nancy Kerry have agreed to part ways exactly one month after Kerry was placed on paid leave.

The news came after City Council emerged from closed session Tuesday, March 6. Mayor Wendy David announced that City Council had accepted Kerry’s conditional letter of resignation, which hinged on council’s acceptance of a settlement agreement.

The settlement signed by Kerry and David agrees to pay Kerry the amount of $176,321 — the equivalent of nine months of Kerry’s salary. The city also agreed to cash out 339 hours of vacation time and 520 hours of sick leave.

They agreed to a non-disparagement clause — preventing both parties from writing “negative defamatory or critical of the other party.”

The city and Kerry are responsible for their own attorney fees. Both parties had the opportunity to participate in writing the agreement.

Kerry was originally placed on indefinite leave Feb. 6. Citing a personnel matter, members of City Council refused to discuss why Kerry was placed on leave.

Her performance evaluation had been on the agenda for two consecutive meetings, including the Feb. 6 meeting, the Tribune previously reported. It was discussed in closed session.

In October, less than four months after Kerry received a pay raise and positive review from City Council, the city entered into an agreement with Municipal Resource Group, LLC, for an “assessment of the City leadership effectiveness, the culture of the senior management team, succession planning status and related issues.”

The Tribune could not confirm what initiated the most recent review, however, some current and former members of council stated that using an outside firm for evaluating a city manager was not in line with normal protocol.

This story will be updated.

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