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Compton fires City Manager Roger Haley

Roger Haley, of whom City had high hopes, lasted less than one year; former Carson City Manager Jerry Groomes voted as replacement COMPTON — For the second time in less than two years, Compton city officials

Roger Haley, of whom City had high hopes, lasted less than one year; former Carson City Manager Jerry Groomes voted as replacement

COMPTON — For the second time in less than two years, Compton city officials have sent their city manager walking. Amid financial calamity and swirling political tides, residents, who have witnessed this political storm before, told the Compton Herald on the condition of anonymity, the “current administration just cannot get it right.”

Roger Haley became the second city manager in 21 months to get the boot by a majority 3-2 vote in the City Council. Councilpersons Emma Sharif, Janna Zurita, and Tana McCoy voted to oust Haley. There was speculation for weeks that Haley’s termination was imminent due to a recent decision by him to overstep the council and spend an exorbitant sum of money to educate residents on the  Measure P “penny tax,” approved at the June primary ballot.

Other sources informed the Herald that Haley routinely bent to Mayor Brown’s will, often leaving the council in the dark about the fiscal direction for the city, and unable to make informed decisions.

Jerry Groomes, 68, a former city manager for the City of Carson, Calif., and East Palo Alto, Calif., resigned from the Carson job, once calling it “a high demand position.” He was immediately voted in the replace Haley on a 3-2 vote affirmed by Mayor Aja Brown, and councilpersons Zurita and McCoy.

Groomes was well-regarded by opposing parties in a fractious Carson City Council, which exacted a high turnover of city managers there, remarkably similar to Compton.

State Assemblyman Mike Gipson, a former councilman in Carson during Groomes’ tenure once said of his leadership: “He’s been the brains behind every positive thing that’s happened in this city.”

 

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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