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Council to decide Du Four’s future

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By David Giuliani

It’s pretty clear that Mayor Tony Marquez wants to get rid of Utilities Director George Du Four.

Now, all he needs is a city manager who will make such a recommendation.

Late last month, Marquez placed Du Four on unpaid leave until Wednesday’s City Council meeting, in which members would decide the director’s fate.

But the city charter requires that a dismissal or appointment of a director be on the recommendation of the city manager.

The city has been without a manager since Sharon Caballero resigned suddenly in mid-December. Since then, Marquez has informally designated Public Works Director Carlos Ortiz and Community Development Director Elmer Martinez as leaders of the city’s “management team.”

But they aren’t interim city managers. The appointment of an interim or permanent city manager must be approved by the council.

The council’s agenda for Wednesday indicates that Marquez will seek the council’s approval of an interim city manager, but he wouldn’t answer a question via e-mail about whom he planned to pick. Last week, he said that under the city charter, all he would need is a city manager for five minutes to recommend Du Four’s dismissal.

The city usually requires that items on the agenda include the names of the sponsors. But items to seek the council’s approval for Du Four’s suspension and firing at Wednesday’s meeting have no sponsors listed. That’s likely because the mayor needs the recommendation to come from a city manager, and there isn’t one now.

Du Four’s suspension last week enraged council members and Marquez’s traditional allies, Andrew Feldman and Diane Moore, both of whom have accused Marquez of micromanagement.

At the same time, council members Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal have been quiet, saying they don’t want to comment on a personnel matter. It’s possible that Madrid and Roybal, who have opposed the mayor on controversial issues before, may be his allies in Du Four’s firing.

Marquez has kept his reasons for suspending Du Four a secret.

city council

agenda

• The Las Vegas City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at West Las Vegas Middle School.

Appointment

• Consideration of appointment of interim city manager.

Presentations

• Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation reporting on the progress of the public-private economic development initiative as required under the group’s contract with the city.

Hires

• Robert Tafoya as a water engineer specialist in the utilities department

• Natasha Martinez and Michael Romero as general accountants in the finance department.

• Marcella Herrera-Martinez as a general accountant in the utilities department.

Business

• Consideration of the award of a lease-purchase agreement with Wagner Equipment Co. for a motor grader and two backhoes.

• Consideration of change to agreement between the city and the Las Vegas Police Officers Association to include experienced new officers in the longevity pay plan.

• Suspension of George Du Four, the utilities director. Mayor Tony Marquez has placed Du Four on unpaid leave.

• Dismissal of George Du Four, the utilities director.

Closed session

• The council may close its doors to discuss personnel matters, issues pertaining to threatened or pending litigation or real estate matters.