Napa Valley Updates

Friday, February 23, 2007

Napa City Fires Department Heads

(From the Napa Register)

11 a.m. Two Napa department heads have agreed to step down as part of a major shake-up of top management by Napa City Manager Mike Parness.

Rich Bottarini, director of Community Development, and Jed Christensen, Finance Department manager, will both retire, Parness announced this morning.

Parness, who became city manager in November, said he wanted to streamline city administration, with a smaller group of administrators reporting to him.

Bottarini joined the city in April of 2003, when the city created Community Development, while Christensen ran Finance for the past 17 years.

Both men have been under fire in recent times. Last summer the Napa County grand jury criticized Community Development for poor service.

Christensen’s department was criticized for failing to properly oversee the spending of $1.4 million in city funds on two county farmworker housing projects. The spending was not authorized.

While neither event was the catalyst for his shake-up, they were symptoms of departments not functioning as well as they should, Parness said.

Parness said the community development director’s job will remain vacant, with plans to hire a new assistant city manager to oversee community development and public works departments.

Carole Wilson, a CPA in the finance department, will become finance manager, Parness said. Scott Klingbeil, acting planning manager, has been offered the job permanently.