Murrieta City Council made what city attorney Leslie Devaney referred to as a “as a clear statement of support” for city manager Rick Dudley following a closed session evaluating Dudley’s performance held on Jan. 20.
“Council wishes to make a clear statement of support for the city manager’s execution of council goals and for his leadership of city staff,” Devaney said.
Following Devaney’s announcement, council moved forward with regular business including recognition of retired Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert.
Flanked by the members of city council, Mayor Harry Ramos recognized Shobert for his service to the communities he served during his 28 years of firefighting.
“What an incredible man I have had the honor of meeting,” Ramos said. “I’ve always been in awe of him. I believe that leadership pays a key role in any department and they (firefighters) carry themselves with the utmost respect and I think that is a big compliment to the man who was running it all those years.”
Ramos went on to say that the type of character displayed by Shobert is rare in today’s world.
“It has been a complete honor to work with you, Matt, it really has,” Ramos said, adding that he was thankful to Shobert’s wife Tami for her sacrifices as well.
Amid a myriad of well wishers, Shobert was presented with a proclamation from the city, a Congressional record brought to the floor by Congressman Ken Calvert of the 42nd congressional district and a ceremonial axe from the Murrieta Fire Department.
With his wife by his side, Shobert said that he had been around the block working with four different departments and with hundreds of fire fighters during his time in service.
“Murrieta, I can tell you these guys are top notch,” he said, adding that the kind words said about him were humbling. “Thank you everyone for your support, they were my firefighters, now, hopefully they will be my friends.”
Council also approved an amendment to the Ground Lease and Power Purchase Agreement with Folium Energy Development, LLC to finalize specific size of photovoltaic system on carports located in the parking lot of City Hall. It is estimated that the solar energy power produced by the system at the agreed rates, coupled with forecasted SCE price increases, could save the city a substantial amount of money over the next 20 years. Additionally, the carports will be designed and constructed at no cost to the city, and ownership will remain with the city. The total cost of the project to Folium is estimated at over $1 million.
In other news, council adopted a resolution accepting improvements for the synthetic turf fields at Los Alamos Sports Park. Under the move, the city clerk was directed to record a notice of completion and releasing of bonds in accordance with state laws.