Compton fires city manager; mayor cites 'time to go in new direction'
Evans took part in a delegation to China last month to attract business, along with the city planning director and council members Dr. Willie Jones and Yvonne Arceneaux.
Perrodin said the city will launch a search for a new permanent city manager. In the meantime, Norfleet will have the power to appoint people to fill the two assistant city manager spots.
Evans took over in 2007, when the former city manager, Barbara Kilroy, was terminated. He had served as assistant city manager under Kilroy. Before that, he worked in risk management for the city.
He was hired as city manager in June 2008 on a three-year contract. His base salary was $185,000 a year, but with perks, his total taxable compensation came to about $292,000 in 2009, according to city records. His contract specifies a severance package of six months' salary plus a payout for unused sick, vacation or other leave time.
The City Council chambers were packed well into the night with citizens curious about the proposed ousting of the city manager. Local activists pushing for a recall of Perrodin, council member Lillie Dobson, City Attorney Craig Cornwell and City Clerk Alita Godwin had convened a protest prior to the council meeting.
By the time the council returned from closed session to report Evans' termination, the room was nearly empty.Lorraine Cervantes, an outspoken supporter of Perrodin, said she opposed a shakeup in the city manager's office when so many projects are in the works.
"You don't switch pilots in the middle of a flight," she said.
Some recall proponents said Evans was unqualified for the job and lacked vision. Others claimed he had been fired and offered a severance package to hush him up about illegal city activities.
Some of Perrodin's opponents said he had a history of micromanaging city officials, and the firing was another example of him overstepping his authority.
"[Evans] has done mostly what the mayor has asked him to, because the mayor runs the city," said recall proponent Joyce Kelly. "That's what the manager is supposed to do."
Perrodin said his detractors overstate his power.
"I only have one vote," he said. "I can't hire and fire anybody."
-- Abby Sewell at Compton City Hall