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TUD General Manager Contract Vote Stalled

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Sonora, CA — After hearing concerns from members of the public, the TUD Board of Directors agreed to allow the incoming new board to take up a contract extension with General Manager Ed Pattison, rather than approve one during the last meeting for two outgoing members.

On the table yesterday was a proposal to extend Pattison’s contract through 2025 and increase the severance pay period from the current six months to a year if a future board ends his contract early.

The contract extension was initially at the recommendation of outgoing board President Bob Rucker and came after a recent closed session performance evaluation. During yesterday’s meeting Rucker praised many of Pattison’s accomplishments since being hired in October of 2018. They include negotiations to acquire water rights and many of PG&E’s assets. He said Pattison has been turning TUD into a successful and high performing organization. While he hopes Pattison will continue with TUD in the many years ahead, Rucker then announced he would pull his proposal so that incoming new board members can take up the contract. Pattison’s current agreement runs through 2023 and pays around $200,000 annually.

Several people spoke against the contract extension during public comments, and they notably made reference to the extension of the severance pay period.

Board member Barbara Balen made a motion to table any type of extension, or change to severance pay, until the new board comes in. She then proposed that Pattison still receive the same negotiated pay increase percentage as other employees. It failed though, due to a lack of a second.

Outgoing board member Ron Kopf proposed that Pattison receive the pay increase percentage and also a 2.5-percent bonus for positive work accomplished over the past year. It was seconded by Rucker. However, a staff member pointed out that the bonus proposal was not on the agenda ahead of the meeting, so the board could not approve it at this time.

In the end, no action was taken on the contract, so it will be pushed to the new board. Incoming members Lisa Murphy and David Boatright will replace directors Rucker and Kopf.