Year in Review - Orland flips leadership positions
Orland changed city managers and its police chief in 2012 following a scandalous 2011.
Veteran Orland police Officer J.C. Tolle took over as interim chief in the fall of 2011 after Chief Paula Carr resigned in the wake of controversy, and he was given the post under contract this past spring.
Carr said she borrowed $1,300 from the city's K-9 fund to purchase a horse for herself, and the funds were repaid.
Carr ultimately was absolved of any criminal wrongdoing since she replaced the funds the following day, but her lapse in judgment made it impossible for her to lead the department, she said, after coming back from paid administrative leave that September.
Tolle was selected to replace her permanently in May 2012 after Interim City Manager Gail Wingard negotiated a contract which the City Council approved.
Caught in the controversy was former City Manager Paul Poczobut Jr., whose handling of the Carr matter did not sit well with council members or the public.
Some residents said Carr should have been fired, but Poczobut did not fire her and did not even disclose what disciplinary action was taken under the shield of confidential personnel rules.
Poczobut's contract was not renewed that fall and he left in October 2011. He has since found employment in Southern California.
Wingard was hired to be interim city manager and stayed through May of this year.
This was his second time working as an interim manager for Orland. He performed the same job 10 years earlier. He is a retired city administrator from Winters.
Orland hired current City Manager Peter Carr in May, and council members and a number business people have expressed satisfaction with his performance.
"I am really pleased with the new city manager," Mayor Charles Gee said. "He is moving us forward."
Gee said planning problems in the city seemed to have smoothed out under Carr and new City Planner Scott Friend, making it easier to accommodate new businesses here.
An example is the application from Grocery Outlet in the Stony Creek Square Shopping Center, he said.
"He has been a good presence in the community; talking to people about their concerns," Gee added. " He is doing a good job."
Councilman Bruce Roundy also is happy with Carr's performance.
"The new city manager is a 'get things done kind of guy,'' Roundy said.
He has a list of goals and objectives from the council, and we can gauge how the city manager is doing from that list, the councilman said.
Carr served as city manager for Biggs for five years prior to coming to Orland.
He also worked in private industry for many years, last managing a kitchen counter manufacturing company in Chico.
As for Tolle, Roundy said turmoil regarding former Chief Paula Carr and other issues seems to have "calmed down."
He said the issues with Paula Carr were "unsettling" to the council and the public, but Orland has moved past that at this point.
"We did get a K-9 out of it," Roundy said, which was a positive.
And, he said, the Police Department has more stability.
Gee also said he thinks Tolle is doing a good job.
"You always have a few citizen complaints with law enforcement," Gee said. "If somebody gets a ticket, they are not happy."
The department is gradually getting up to staff with new officers being added, and the police helped the public works department get through the storm season so far, he said.
So now Gee said he is ready to put the Paula Carr issue behind him and move forward.