O’Rourke reportedly going to start new job by July

While South Lake Tahoe City Manager Tony O’Rourke told Lake Tahoe News on April 30 that he is still negotiating with Yakima, Wash., officials, news outlets in that town make it sound like it’s a done deal he will be moving north.

“I’m gonna make it hard on myself, I’d like to come up there and buy a home, how’s that as a starting point? That’s a pretty good anchor point into the community. The city has nothing to worry about,” O’Rourke is quoted on KAPP-TV.

S. Tahoe's No. 1 and No. 2 officials -- Tony O'Rourke and Nancy Kerry -- at the April 30 Bonanza Park ceremony. Photo/LTN

Yakima’s City Council on April 27 offered O’Rourke the job of city manager.

Also according to the television station, O’Rourke plans to start the new job by July.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report



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Comments (23)
  1. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: April 30, 2012

    maybe ol Tony won’t have such a dark aura when when he lives in another Town

  2. Atomic says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    OK so Tony wants to leave, not sure why but stuff happens. What does his contract say about early exit? Tell me he is going to have to give up pay and the benefits don’t follow him around on our dime. Good luck to Tony and family, seems he did what he had to do, I’m just tired of these ‘professional’ city managers simply climbing rungs and leaving when they feel like it. Ironic that as a city manager, he chooses HIS time frame and HIS needs over the city’s. I mean, he’s the CITY MANAGER and he can’t even manage to do what he agreed to do, pffft-

    There needs to be a PENALTY for leaving early and not finishing the job-

  3. Another X Local says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    Seems like he’s accepted the Yakima job so maybe the City should look at terminating his contract immediately & finding a way around the whopping severance package. He’s leaving of his own accord & not fired so that severance shouldn’t be available. I bet everybody would love to work for an employer that would pay a huge amount to fire you if they weren’t happy with you.

  4. dryclean says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    No matter how you look at this it was a bad hire. If it was a good fit from the get-go, things would have worked out. The members of the city council are just as much to blame as Tony is. Probably more. Perhaps thats why none of them seem upset that he is leaving. If they spoke up he might counter with the truth of the matter.

  5. hmmm..... says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    he’s ‘…gonna make it hard on himself…”. what a selfless hero. can he at least get a statue? Tahoe’s hired gun rides out on the midnight stage.

  6. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    Are any posters on this site privy to the actual information related to O’Rourke’s likely departure and his existing contract with the City or is this just a process of critical speculation. I believe that Councilmember Cole’s and Grego’s terms on the City Council end in December 2012 and think that people convinced of the City Council’s and City Manager’s ineptness should either run for a Council seat this November or they should apply for the City’s Manager’s job right now. Be a part of the process folks, and show everyone in the community how smart you are and how your solutions will solve all the City’s problems.

  7. Dennis Cocking says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    Well said, 4-mer-usmc

  8. Hangs Ups From Way Back says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    love the last name…lol…now where’s bend over jar head at?

  9. lou pierini says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    When people vote they are part of the process, that is the first step. Most of these people don’t have the time or the inserest in doing more than voting. Our trust in the people we elect doesn’t last as long as it did in the past. How can we change that, so people trust their elected officals again.

  10. Mike Ervin says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    If people due their homework they will see Yakima pays more than South Lake Tahoe, but it would be nice if City Managers were like Professional Athletes and couldnt jump ship until their contracts were over. Maybe a new home city can pay up to the city whose suddenly out . Hopefully State govt’s can work together to stop this game of checkers for big pay that city managers are doing all over the country. Its also being done a lot by School system administrators. I guess Jerry McGwire is a popular movie for these people “SHOW ME THE MONEY” …

  11. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    Mr. Pierini:

    I think the first thing people need to do is make the effort to become informed with actual facts because how can one make an intelligent decision if they don’t know accurate facts. Too often people prefer to rely on what other equally uninformed or biased people say in which case they are just repeating erroneous information. If someone is genuinely interested in what their locally elected officials are doing they need to make the time and effort to inform themselves on what’s really going on, then they should formulate their own opinion rather than mindlessly repeating what someone else is pontificating. Where is the voting public’s responsibility? We are adults not children on a playground that find safety in numbers when they ridicule and bully.

  12. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 1, 2012


    Are you aware that this site is for grown-ups? Your Mommy must not know that you’re playing on the computer again. Prior to participating in this forum you should wait until your adolescent brain reaches maturity and you’ve learned how to complete a grammatically correct sentence.

  13. Parker says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    4-mer, getting accurate info. from our City Govt. makes pulling teeth look easy! Ask if any raises have been handed out and they’ll tell you no. But then you find out people have new titles. So more money for technically a new job!

    Many of us who have day jobs don’t have the time to keep digging OR to keep going to hours- long Council meetings where something is decided, only to be reversed at a later meeting!

    But here’s a fact-Mr. O’Rourke was hired in a far from open process and he out negogiated our Council! He gets 9 months severance if the City decides we don’t want him anymore, but he can leave without penalty if he decides he doesn’t want us!

  14. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 1, 2012


    I have a day job but I make the effort to review the City Council meeting agendas and watch the City Council meetings on the City’s website so I can see for myself what’s being said and done in that public meeting. If I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be informed and I refuse to rely on second-hand information. As far as people being paid more money, if they’re job description is dramatically altered then they deserve to have an appropriate title and the commensurate salary to accompany their duties and responsibilities. In my employment experience when I assumed additional management responsibilities my job title and salary were adjusted to reflect those changes. An illustration is if a person goes from bartending to managing a restaurant they deserve a new title and salary for those new responsibilities.

    As far as O’Rourke goes, it was likely his representative negotiated with the Council’s representative prior to the City Council conducting the interviewing process. Also, all personnel related matters are confidential, just as they legally would be in any other organization. I watch and listen to every City Council meeting and I don’t recall ever hearing the specific details related to O’Rourke’s personnel contract with the City publically discussed and would certainly be interested to know from which reliable source within the City you received that information.

  15. Parker says - Posted: May 1, 2012

    Where I work we’re just happy to have jobs! And if that means added responsibilities to keep to keep the job, so be it! You think that would be even more true when a job is funded by the taxpayer? But I guess not?! And by the way, even before times were tight, that’s an old public sector trick!

    And personnel matters should’t be private when they’re funded by my (and others) tax dollars!!! But even though we get misdirection from the City, in case you’re unaware, I’ll say it again 4-mer, Mr. O’Rourke has a 9-month buyout if ever fired! But can walk away with No Penalty!

  16. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 1, 2012


    If you’re satisfied with your employment circumstance that’s your business, but in most professions people receive monetary compensation based on the work they perform and accompanying level of responsibility, and when that changes so do job titles and salaries. I disagree that just because a person is a government employee that all their personnel details should be public information, and I’ll ask it again of you Parker, from what reliable source within the City did you receive information regarding O’Rourke’s separation agreement? Would you please answer my question.

  17. admin says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    It is a nine-month severance if fired and no penalty if he walks away.

    Kathryn Reed, LTN publisher

  18. 30yrlocal says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    Cracks me up…people were mad at our City Manager and complained about his results and wanted him out. Now he is moving on and the complaints are rolling out that he’s leaving us.

  19. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    Dear Ms. Reed:

    Thank you for your input. As I previously stated I watch every City Council meeting and I don’t recall ever hearing that information publicly disseminated. Would you please direct me to the specific meeting date at which that information was publically discussed/published in an agenda packet. Like I also stated before, I prefer to perform my own verifications and would certainly be interested in viewing that discussion/material so I can be fully informed on all the details related to this matter.

    Thank you for your assistance.

  20. Parker says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    4-mer, not just with me, but other people in the private sector are
    just happy to have their jobs even if that means added responsibilities! In the public, where they’re being paid with our tax dollars, they clearly don’t appreciate what they have!

    And along those lines, even though they’re being paid by the public, the public sector doesn’t feel the need to be responsive to the public. Hence, matters such as the CM’s severance package are often disclosed only through private channels.

    Please don’t tell me you believe that the public Council meetings are the only place where info. is disclosed? It’s not, and that’s a large part of the problem!

  21. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: May 2, 2012


    The City Council conducts discussion on confidential matters in Closed Session and the Brown Act prevents public dissemination of that discussion by a Councilmember or City staff, so anyone leaking Closed Session information is committing a violation of the Brown Act and demonstrating a lack of ethics and integrity. I agree with you that that has been a large part of the problem.

  22. Parker says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    4-mer, The City fails to engage in full disclosure and they get around The Brown Actj by communicating through intermediaries. And thank goodness info. gets out, but too bad it doesn’t get out sooner.

    With the info. on the CM’s contract, it would’ve been nice for some public input beforehand in order to prevent such a one-sided deal. (The City clearly can’t be trusted to negotiate behind closed doors!) But hopefully such a bad deal can be prevented in the future!

  23. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: May 2, 2012

    It would be great to see the details of union contracts but those meetings are closed too.

    There is a need for the Brown Act (legal strategies, discipline etc.) but many city councils and county supervisors hide behind it way to often.

    All salary negotiations for both union and management should be open. After all its taxpayer money.