"On behalf of the City of Anaheim, we thank Bob Wingenroth for his service to our city," Mayor Tom Tait said in a city press release. "I know this was a difficult decision for him. Bob is a man of integrity, ethics, and compassion. I join everyone at City Hall in saying we will miss him, and we wish him and his family all the very best."
Unlike Talley who was pressured into her resignation, and Welter who is retiring, the outgoing city manager cited a supposed desire to return to Arizona to be closer with family as the reason for the decision. His professional career in local government began in Phoenix before moving to Orange County, spending the last four years in Anaheim. Wingenroth was officially appointed to the position he's about to leave on June 19, 2012. His last day with the city will be on June 7, 2013. It all comes quite abruptly for an official who appeared to be ready to hang around City Hall for awhile. Something's rotten…
As interim city manager, Wingenroth was in the hot seat, particularly from councilwoman Kris Murray, following the position he took against the ultra-controversial $158 million GardenWalk hotel subsidy that dominated much of the city's political discourse last year. The giveaway was ruled void last December on the grounds of a Brown Act violation and has yet to come back before the current council.
The other high profile issue Wingenroth was recently tasked with was the question of a civilian review board for police oversight. He presented a staff report on January 15, 2013 that suggested the Chief's Advisory Board in collaboration with OC Human Relations as a viable possible model to be built upon. The council unanimously voted to have his office bring back a formal proposal to go before a vote.
Since that time, the impartiality and critical distance of both pillars of the potential proposal have come under serious critiques. A controversy of ethics has emerged since OCHR's police funded canvassing in Anna Drive became the talk of the town. The Advisory Board, too, has reveled itself to be another uncritical booster club that OCHR is paid for out of the APD budget to help organize.
Before last summer, Wingenroth was also cited as the city official who put forth the notion that police presentations at the Ponderosa Elementary School library facilitated by the commission in the wake of the March fatal officer-involved shooting of Martin Angel Hernandez were somehow 'life-saving.'
To date, no formal civilian review board proposal or even an inkling of what it might look like on paper has come from the city manager. He has two months time left in his tenure. In the meantime, the Weekly will be watching!
With all these city bureaucrats dropping like flies, there's never, ever a dull day in Anacrime!
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.