By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday found itself in the awkward position of lauding the man it snubbed just a few months earlier.
Late last year, a sharply divided council passed over Deputy City Manager Greg Scoles for the interim city manager position following the departure of his boss Jeff Kolin, instead tapping former Advance Planning Director Wayne Goldberg for the post.
Scoles, who had been with the city since 2002, took the hint.
He started looking for a new job and was quickly snapped up by the city of Belmont to be its top executive. He starts Sept. 1.
At his final council meeting before departing next week, the council issued a proclamation thanking him for his work on complex projects such as The Geysers wastewater discharge system, the reuse of recycled water for urban irrigation and negotiating the city’s garbage contract.
Mayor Susan Gorin, who was one of the four council members who voted to hire Goldberg, thanked Scoles for his numerous contributions to the city.
“You are a well-kept secret in the city, you do so many things,” Gorin said. “We will miss you, and we probably won’t know how much we’ll miss you until you’re gone.”
Marsha Vas Dupre, who also voted against Scoles, thanked him for not only his work but his community involvement. “You and your family are going to be missed,” she said.
Vice Mayor Gary Wysocki’s remarks were the briefest. He managed a “best of luck in your new surroundings. I’m sure you’ll do well.”
The three council members who voted to hire Scoles, Jane Bender, Ernesto Olivares and John Sawyer, were glowing in their praise. Sawyer was particularly effusive.
“Thanks for your guidance and your talents and your laughter,” Sawyer said. “City Hall will not resonate in quite the same way as it has before.”
Scoles said working in Santa Rosa was the best job he’s had in his 31-year career, but said he didn’t deserve the council’s praise.
“All the accolades that you’ve tried to bestow on me really belong on the staff,” he said.
Gorin reminded Scoles, who is known for his sly sense of humor, that the city will host a going-away reception for him next Friday.
“I’ll be here ‘til Thursday,” he quipped.