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Carmel’s quick fix for its spending problem

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Carmel’s Sunset Center

In recent weeks the Carmel City Council has complained about the costs of various city maintenance projects, including a $5,000 contract to oversee painting at the city library and a $50,000 contract with Monterey Peninsula Engineering for a new railing at Sunset Center. Last month the council called a timeout on the contract with the engineering outfit.

Deservedly or not, the city’s public works director, Rob Mullane, is out of a job effective Friday. The council’s inquiry into the contracts likely will end with that personnel move, which was announced to Mullane’s staff on Wednesday.

Monterey Peninsula Engineering won the Sunset Center contract through a competitive bidding process involving one other company, DMC. Incidentally, MPE and principal Paul Bruno have been significant contributors to Republican politicians, including at the City Council level, but the city apparently doesn’t consider that to be a disqualifier.

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A little personnel news dribbles out of Carmel City Hall

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SEE UPDATE BELOW:

Maybe this only amounts to trial ballooning, but look for a couple of significant promotions at City Hall in the very near future.

Watch for police Commander Paul Tomasi to be named chief to succeed the about-to-retire Chief Mike Calhoun and for city public works chief Rob Mullane to be named assistant city administrator. At least that’s what Mullane told his staff this week.

Calhoun had temporarily worked as city administrator before Chip Rerig’s hiring, and even managed to hold onto the extra pay after Rerig came on board.

Mullane, a geologist by training, had worked for city governments in Goleta and Ojai before coming to Carmel as planning director in 2013. Some ruffling of features in the business community led to a reassignment to public works but things seem to have calmed down.

UPDATE: Mullane says via email that he did not tell his staff he was being promoted to assistant city administrator and that the article should be retracted.

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