Mountain House might be looking for new GM
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Sep 07, 2012 | 4239 views | 6 6 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ML Gordon watches a Community Services District meeting in Mountain House in April while serving as general manager.  Press file photo
ML Gordon watches a Community Services District meeting in Mountain House in April while serving as general manager. Press file photo
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — It appears General Manager ML Gordon is on his way out.

According to a statement issued to Mountain House Community Services District directors for the Wednesday, Sept. 12, meeting and shared by Director Celeste Farron, Gordon was “automatically terminated” Aug. 24.

Farron said the statement regarding Gordon, who was hired by a unanimous vote of the board in March 2012, was circulated by the district’s attorney, Daniel Schroeder.

She said the document states: “Effective March 12, 2012, the district employed ML Gordon as its general manager following a recruitment process conducted by the recruiting firm of Peckham & McKenney. Mr. Gordon’s employment with the district was subject to the terms of an employment agreement. Effective Aug. 24, 2012, the employment agreement automatically terminated in accordance with Section 7(d)(3) of the agreement. As a result, there is now a vacancy of the general manager position.”

But according to Director Jim Lamb, Gordon hasn’t vacated the position yet. He said Thursday, Sept. 6, that Schroeder will give the board a legal explanation regarding the matter at the meeting next week.

Lamb said Schroeder is also expected to meet with Gordan, but he didn’t say when such a meeting could take place.

“I don’t think anybody will have the full picture until the (attorney’s) presentation,” Lamb said. “The agenda item could change, depending on the attorney’s meeting with the GM.”

After his hiring, Gordon attended regular board meetings in March, April and May. He went on indefinite sick leave in early June.

Farron said she never asked for details about Gordon’s absence, as it was ostensibly a private issue and he was on a medical leave. She said directors were instructed that it would be unlawful to ask.

To fill his absence, the board appointed Secretary Mimi Duzenski as acting general manager on June 4.

Farron said Schroeder stated in the letter to directors that the district is required to have a general manager. With the position vacant, the district’s staff is seeking direction about how to fill the vacancy, she said the letter stated.

Agenda item 9.1 on the Wednesday meeting agenda reads: “Discussion and direction regarding vacancy of the following position: general manager.”

Farron said the documents the directors received outline several options. One is to exercise the district’s guarantee rights under the agreement with the recruiting firm of Peckham & McKenney, which would have the firm again perform recruiting services for the position of general manager. The cost of that course of action will likely be addressed at the upcoming meeting.

Contacted on Thursday, Director Andy Su said Schroeder advised board members not to discuss the matter before Wednesday’s meeting.

A secretary in Schroeder’s Stockton law office said he was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Lamb said that it’s the board’s wish to resolve the matter.

“Really takes one person to direct the staff,” Lamb said. “Not having him (Gordon), there is a hole in the management. We need somebody in there.”

Board members Bernice King Tingle and Jass Singh couldn’t be reached by phone for comment Thursday.

The board of directors will meet at

7 p.m. Wednesday in the Michael Forbes McGrew Board Room at 230 S. Sterling Drive, Ste. 101.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
September 09, 2012
They advised that it is unlawful to ask why an employee is not showing up for work? He has not worked more than a year and does not qualify for fmla...this is an easy one. It doesn't matter to me if there is political pressure that is difficult for him- that is part of the job!! When you work in this type of profession, it comes with the job. Finally, I hope that the placement firm honors a 100% free replacement. It would be standard practice for them to replace someone for free, or very cheaply, who only worked three months.
September 07, 2012
Hmmm...time to go pop some popcorn...this could get interesting...

Tom are you a Jass fan by any chance?
September 07, 2012
It appears so.
September 09, 2012
Tom's a real guy who's been involved with Tracy politics for some time.
September 07, 2012
Readers who count:

I hate to see Mr. Gordan leave because of the high pressure politics of the Mountain House gang.

ML. seemed to be a very intelligent and well informormed leader of the council as they call it. Is that not so Jim L.
September 08, 2012
There's entirely too much speculation going on about the reasons for his absence.

The CSD has said officially the he's been out for medical reasons.

How about everybody be responsible and just wait till Wednesday.

Throwing out the suggestion that he's gone for political reasons is unfounded.

Mr. Gordon is entitled to his privacy.

He's welcome to disclose whatever he wants, but the law is pretty clear that the district has no business disclosing this sort of information.

I hope Mr. Gordon makes a speedy recovery.

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