The departure of Atwater's city manager is just a baby step toward its fiscal recovery. Surely her dismissal as the manager of two cities should have been a clue to her competence. Now our general fund deficit has ballooned to $3.8 million, and that means a whole lot of pain is coming our way, especially to the city workers.
How did this debacle come to be?
First, the finance director has to collect thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and his financial reports are so incomprehensible that a CIA analyst couldn't figure them out. Of course, the City Council was derelict in demanding an accurate accounting from staff. But the buck stops with the mayor. Her job is to act less like a potted plant and more like a take-charge leader. Her description of everything that happens in Atwater as "wonderful" needs to stop. It is far from wonderful.