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Solvang City Manager David Gassaway poses for a picture at Solvang City Hall. Gassaway resigned his position Monday.

Solvang City Manager David Gassaway, who was hired to replace retired City Manager Brad Vidro in April, resigned from the post after five months on Monday amid ongoing upheaval at City Hall.

In April, City Attorney Dave Fleishman also abruptly resigned after serving the city for nearly 21 years.

In a city statement released Monday night, Mayor Ryan Toussaint said Gassaway's separation had nothing to do with performance.

“Mr. Gassaway brings a lot of talent to the table with his knowledge and work ethic. The City Council has a different direction for the community and we mutually agreed that a separation would allow the City Council to achieve its desired outcomes. We wish David well and thank him for his time in Solvang.”

According to the statement, Gassaway and the city "reached a mutual agreement on separation effective Monday, Sept. 9." With the separation, the City Council will begin a process to appoint a new city manager, the statement said.

Subject to Gassaway’s 5-year employment agreement, which shows him earning a base salary of $175,000 a year, the city will pay him a severance equal to six months’ salary and benefits. 

Gassaway and his family came to Solvang from Indian Wells, where he served as assistant to the city manager for two years before advancing to community development director. In that position, he oversaw planning, building and code enforcement.

“I have enjoyed my time in this wonderful community. During my tenure, the City Council and I were able to set the stage for a new course in Solvang’s rich history. I wish the City Council success as they lead change for the community,” Gassaway said in the city statement released Monday night.


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