Is a Familiar Face Coming Back to Tustin City Hall?

TheLiberalOC has learned that Tustin City Manager David Biggs hasn’t requested a hearing before the Tustin City Council which is likely give Mr. Biggs a formal termination date soon.  The most interesting tidbit that should make tongues wag at tonight’s council meeting is the rumored return of retired city manager Bill Huston to the job as interim city manager. 

Tustin spokeswoman Lisa Woolery responded to our questions with this statement on Huston’s possible return: “These items are posted for the first time for discussion in closed session this evening. The council has not yet discussed these items so I can’t confirm anything. However, if decisions are made this evening they will be reported out.”

If Huston were to come back, it’s believed he’d be paid at a rate close to what he was receiving plus he’d still be able to pull his pension.  This, coupled with the $187,500 severance owned to Biggs, is going to wind up costing Tustin taxpayers a pretty penny. 

Emails coming in show that groups in Tustin, many who have felt Mayor Jerry Amante’s wrath in recent years, are quietly organizing to ascertain the amount of support the idea of a recall has in the community and how passionate some in Tustin are willing to work for Amante’s ouster.  Other emails reveal that a number of employees at Tustin City Hall are terrified of incurring Amante’s anger for fear of being fired.  For many long time employees, Amante’s termed out reign of terror can’t come fast enough.

Perhaps tonight, Mayor Amante can address why the city’s legal fees have nearly tripled in the past five years — him being a fiscal conservative and all.


  1. While I recently stated my preference to just let Boss Tweed Amante just run his term out, it’s corruption and cronyism like this that ticks me off. Amante and his wrecking crew are out to get all they can from Tustin tax payers. You can add me to the list of those who call for a recall. Let’s take out his cronies Murray and Nielsen while we’re at it.

  2. Please Liberal OC, keep posting info on any Amante recall effort that sounds promising! Almost two years of Amante is way too long for him to do more damage–it’s time to either put up with his strong-arm tactics or show him that the citizens of tustin have had enough of him. Bill Huston coming back does not bode well for Gomez or Gavello- he will do Amante’s bidding were Biggs was going to treat everyone as equals. Let’s focus on getting Amante out first and getting sanity back on the council ( are there any possible candidates out there who can replace Amante in a special election?). Once that happens, we can then focus on getting rid of his yes-man John Nielsen in 2012 when he’s up for re-election– that should be easier since he votes 99% the way Amante tells him how to vote. With those two gone, I’d hold off on Al Murray and put him on probation to see if he can redeem himself by 2014—-

    • The good people of Tustin are sending me multiple emails asking about the process. So far, I’d have to say there’s a lot of back-and-forth communication with community groups that Amante has ticked off over the years and representatives of these groups are chatting to ascertain the benefits of recalling Amante and how much time, money and support they have for such an effort.

      The question that everyone seems to ask is how much damage can he really do before he’s termed out? From an organizational perspective, this is a smart startegy. If you launch a recall effort, you want it to succeed. If you don’t have enough support, Amante would view it as a victory. But what’s clear is there are a lot of unhappy people in Tustin who do not like the Mayor or his heavy handedness.

      Regardless of if a recall is launched, Amante is damaged goods for future runs for office. This entire city manager situation is an expensive debacle and there’s no explanation as to why Tustin’s legal fees have nearly tripled in five years. You have to wonder what sort of shenanigans are going on with the mayor.

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