Hercules voters recalled Tuesday the mayor and another council member in response to a political and budget mess.
Two council members, Mayor Joanne Ward and Donald Kuehne, lost the vote after a recall drive by residents related to the fiscal problems and concerns about their dealings with the city manager. One of the council members had already resigned.
While former city manager Nelson Oliva was out on sick leave last year, interim city manager Charlie Long uncovered the dire financials, made structural changes, and hired a new finance director.Then the City Council fired Long and put Oliva back in his position until he retired at the end of the year.
Now the city’s police chief, Fred Deltorchio, has taken over the job of city manager.
The Bay Area city’s general fund had been facing a $6 million shortfall in its $18 million budget for fiscal 2012, while $5 million in unfunded debt obligations linked to the fund are coming due this year.
The Hercules Redevelopment Agency is basically insolvent and will be unable to make $1.4 million in debt service payments without help from the city’s general fund.