David Rudat
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Los Al Council Agrees to Extend City Manager's Contract
David Rudat called 'team leader' after numerous turnovers in the last few years.
Thursday ,October 16, 2008

After about an hour in closed session, the Los Alamitos City Council unanimously agreed to extend City Manager David Rudat's employee contract, during a special meeting Oct. 13.

Rudat was appointed to the position after serving as interim city manager and while the city experienced more than seven turnovers in the last three years.

He will fulfill his agreement with the city for 960 hours, which should end sometime in December, when the council will decide on furthering the terms and conditions of his employment.

Many residents present during this week's special meeting expressed their regard for Rudat, calling him an "excellent team leader."

In September of last year, then city manager Luci Romero Serlet was fired by the city council for undisclosed reasons, after the previous city manager Lee Evett had resigned from the position.

While Serlet was in office, a handful of city employees left as well, including her assistant Anthony Rose, along with two longtime Recreation and Community Services Department members, Hather Gutfield and Mike Kudron.

In addition, the city took more than a year to replace the police chief after Mike McCrary retired.

Before the council made their decision this week, residents pleaded to renew Rudat's contractual interim agreement to help stabilize the city.

"This would appear as a no brainier," said Richard Cardeman. "It's obvious he is a skillful leader. He delegates responsibility and does not micro manage. He's the best qualified city manager we've had in several years."

Mayor Ken Parker the tried to correct the speakers by stating that the decision was not to fire Rudat.

While City Attorney Dean Derleth said technically the motion wasn't to terminate Rudat's employment, his employment would still have ended if his contract wasn't extended.

Meanwhile, Councilman Dean Grose feels there is a clear division among council members as the last council meeting lasted until 2 a.m. He has stated that Parker and councilwoman Catherine Driscoll and Gerri Mejia have teamed up against him and Councilman, Troy Edgar on key decisions.

"Some progress has been made, however, several elements are at work determined to carry out their own agenda believing it is in the best interests of the citizens." Grose stated in a recent letter to the editor. "They have their supporters and I understand that."

Grose said hiring Rudat was, "the first decision toward stabilization," and the employee has brought "great leadership."

Rudat has previously served as city manager for the City of Orange.