The Sunnyside City Council Monday evening gave a unanimous vote of confidence to City Manager Bob Stockwell for what the body viewed as an unwarranted attack by the Daily Sun News.
Councilman Bruce Ricks brought forth the motion of Council backing Stockwell with a vote of confidence in response to a personal column in the Friday, March 11, issue of the Daily Sun News by Managing Editor Bob Story.
The column highlighted how Story felt long-time city finance director Bud Schatz was being used as a scapegoat of sorts for the fiasco that happened with the issue of privatizing the city's water and wastewater services. Schatz lost his job of 20-plus years with the city following errors that were discovered in figures released by city staff concerning savings the city would realize by entering into a contract with Veolia Water to privatize the water and wastewater services. The column makes reference to Stockwell and how as city manager he would have double checked all the figures presented by Schatz concerning the privatization issue before recommending the matter for approval to Council.
"I think it was very biased," said Ricks.
Ricks said the column by Story is not what you would expect from someone who is part of the Sunnyside community.
"I feel as a Council we need to reaffirm our vote of confidence in him (Stockwell)," said Ricks. "I appreciate his efforts."
Councilman Paul Garcia seconded the motion by Ricks to give Stockwell a vote of confidence with the issue passing unanimously by a 5-0 vote.
Stockwell thanked Council for the vote of confidence, saying he appreciated the support.