Claremont Insider: Southard Takes On A Councilmember - Again

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Southard Takes On A Councilmember - Again

We had several more responses to our recent posts about former Claremont City Manager Glenn Southard. One reader wrote in to say:

Okay, this is gonna be gooooood to watch. Compare and contrast:

The Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA.)
April 18, 2006, Tuesday

...Indio's population increased 10 percent between 2004 and 2005 alone, to more than 66,000. It is now the largest and fastest-growing city in the Coachella Valley, according to estimates by the California Department of Finance...

Gilbert said the need to immediately deal with growth is one reason the council agreed to pay Southard $240,000 a year, one of the highest city-manager salaries in the state. The council will decide in the next few weeks whether to pay Southard a bonus of up to 10 percent, he said. Gilbert said Southard deserves the bonus if he continues performing well.

The Desert Sun
March 21, 2008

...Indio, with nearly 1,500 homes in foreclosure in the city's limits, is leading valley cities in taking a stand.

A new law goes into effect April 4 targeting abandoned homes with overgrown landscaping, stagnant pools and other eyesores that scream "empty" to squatters.


Glenn Southard deserved a growing salary because Indio was growing rapidly -- which means that he must deserve to see his salary shrink now. Right? Yeah, pull the other leg. Funny! Glenn Southard deserves a large salary because of the need to deal with rapid economic growth, and Glenn Southard deserves a large salary because of the need to deal with rapid economic decline. I'm gonna pop some popcorn and take a front-row seat for his next bonus review.

Well, dear reader, it's nice to know that Southard took some of that famed Claremont rationality with him when he fled to the desert in 2005.

And it looks like Southard also took his infamous temper with him as well. Another reader sent in link to a news story on the Palm Springs ABC TV affiliate KESQ Channel 3.

According to the KESQ story, Indio Councilmember Mike Wilson is feuding with Southard over a matter involving an Indio representative to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control Board. Wilson accused Southard of illegally leaking information to the Desert Sun newspaper:

Indio City Councilmember Mike Wilson says that City Manager Glenn Southard illegally tipped off the Desert Sun newspaper last week to the city's intentions of removing Duran from the bug board.

Wilson and Southard then got into a face-to-face verbal spar.

Southard addressed Wilson and the rest of the council, saying, "I think I'll speak for myself, you know, thanks Eddie, but I intend to speak out as long as I see something wrong. If council sees something wrong with it they can deal with it. First off, this is the most absurd 'bait and switch' comment I've ever had. We have a meltdown at the Bug Board and all of a sudden the council has 'violated the Brown Act' and 'I've done something.' Produce the quotes, produce the facts on the violation of the Brown Act. But just making these silly allegations, produce something -otherwise. Let's stop it. You can't accuse people of something with nothing. Produce it."

Wilson responded, "I intend to. I intend to, Mr. City Manager. This is the fourth time you've done something like this. You like to play games."

Nothing new here. When Southard was still in Claremont in 2005, he feuded with then-Councilmember Jackie McHenry in a witchhunt of epic proportions (mostly made up of unsubstantiated claims by Southard and his staff). When a censure of McHenry was proposed, and an actual investigation was threatened, Southard backed off, electing to shut up rather than put up.

And, even farther back, after the 1999 Irvin Landrum shooting, Southard publicly released an old criminal record for Irvin Landrum's uncle Obee Landrum in order to discredit the uncle. Some critics of the Southard regime accused Southard of misusing access to criminal records to find the information. The Claremont 400, including present Mayor Ellen Taylor, refused to criticize Southard in public: Oh, that's just Glenn, they said, just as they're saying it now with Taylor.

The video of the recent Indio council meeting where the blowup happened catches Wilson and Southard yammering at each other. If you watch the new video, you'll notice that at no point does Southard actually deny Councilmember Wilson's accusations. An old Southard trick: When confronted with an allegation, don't address the substance of the claim. Instead, Attack! By the time your opponent is done backpedaling, the media will have forgotten what the original accusation was.

Sure seems like old times.... Indio ought to do what Claremont finally learned. They need to call his bluff. We predict Southard will be gone from Indio in a heartbeat once people there start seeing through his games.

Say, it's a shame we don't have anything in the Insider vaults showing what Southard was like when he was here. We'll have to hunt around and see if anything turns up.