ATWATER City Manager Kathy Kivley was placed on administrative leave by the City Council following a late-night, closed-session performance evaluation Wednesday.
The move follows several performance reviews since Kivley was unanimously selected by the City Council in April 2011. Kivley, 64, said she wasn't given a reason for being placed on administrative leave.
"There really isn't anything for me to comment on right now," she said when reached by phone Thursday.
Mayor Joan Faul said she can't comment since it's a personnel issue.
Other city officials echoed similar remarks about the situation with Kivley and the status of the city's precarious financial situation. City Attorney Jose Sanchez couldn't be reached for comment.
After Wednesday's special closed-session meeting, Sanchez said no reportable action was taken. However, Kivley didn't return with the rest of the council after the closed-session review was completed.
Kivley has more than 30 years of experience in local government. Before she was appointed as Atwater's city manager, she worked as the assistant city manager of Delano in Kern County.
Kivley's base salary totaled $134,000 at the time of her employment agreement.
Kivley had reportedly spoken to a bankruptcy lawyer for informational purposes, but when she was contacted earlier this month about the issue, Kivley declined to comment.
The city is projecting a $3.7 million negative general fund balance for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
In addition to the general fund, the sanitation and water funds also have deficits.
Revenues for the city fell during the 2011-12 fiscal year to $9.2 million from $9.8 million in 2010-11, according to staff projections.
Expenses are also expected to be down in fiscal year 2011-12, totaling about $12 million, according to city documents. That's down from $13.6 million in 2010-11.
But the budget books could take a hit of $900,000 in 2012-13, largely because of Police Department costs.
During Wednesday's special meeting, the council also selected a Danville consulting firm, Municipal Resource Group, to provide the city with a financial assessment as the council considers passing a budget.
While Kivley's out, Chief Frank Pietro will take on the additional role of acting city manager. The city's next scheduled council meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.