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City's HR Director Resigns

Vargas, who was criticized by some former employees, is praised by council member.

Carlos Vargas has resigned as the City of Rockville’s human resources director, city officials confirmed Tuesday. 

Acting city manager Jennifer Kimball informed the City Council of Vargas’s resignation over the weekend, City Councilman Tom Moore said in an email response to questions from Rockville Patch.

“Mr. Vargas is leaving the Rockville city government to take a new job at a nonprofit organization,” Moore wrote.

Moore said he had not seen Vargas’s resignation letter and did not know when it was tendered or when the resignation took effect. A voice mail left for Kimball on Tuesday was not returned.

“I firmly consider personnel matters such as this to be the responsibility of the City Manager,” Moore wrote. “I think Ms. Kimball has very carefully and skillfully balanced competing priorities in handling this matter.”

Vargas was criticized by former Rockville employees who, , claimed they were subjected to harassment and discrimination by their supervisors while employed by the city.

The city  of the former employees’ claims.

Most city officials, including Vargas, have remained silent about the claims, citing city policy not to discuss personnel matters.

"If the director of human resources refuses to discuss personnel matters it is because he is doing his job and is following the law,"  last week. "Silence on the part of Mayor and Council and the city staff with respect to these matters does not constitute agreement with the allegations and does not amount to stonewalling."

Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio told MoCoVox.com that Vargas tendered his resignation two weeks ago, but that she was unaware of it until Monday evening, the Web site reported. The resignation was not mentioned at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Moore, in his email to Rockville Patch, thanked Vargas and praised the job he did.

Moore wrote:

“One thing that has become clear to me since I've been in office is that Rockville's personnel policies need a thorough update. Carlos Vargas spent five years working hard to make many of the changes we need; our new city manager will choose someone to continue his diligent efforts. 

I wish Mr. Vargas all the best in his new job. He leaves behind a City that is run more professionally than when he arrived, and I thank him for all his efforts to make that happen.”

Marcuccio also said that the new city manager would hire a new HR director, MoCoVox.com reported. The City Council has narrowed its search for a new city manager to .

Theresa Defino June 05, 2012 at 11:30 PM
This makes no sense. She confirmed "on Friday," but said it on Tuesday? Why are elected officials and city personnel commenting to an anonymous blogger, who is allowing elected city officials to once again bash staff without doing any reporting to verify her accusation?
CP June 07, 2012 at 01:55 AM
The acting City Manager, Miss Kimball, exhibited incredibly bad judgement in not telling Mayor and Council when Vargas resigned on May 11, and when she did tell them last weekend, made it sound like it just happened. It wasn't until Monday that the Council learned he resigned weeks ago and never had an exit interview. Additionally, Mr. Moore must stop doing end runs around the Council. It wasn't his place to speak out on Vargas' leaving, and to praise his performance in light of all that is going on is not only ill-considered, it is an insult to the employees.
Saul Parker June 07, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Mr Moore is himself a total insult.
Theresa Defino June 07, 2012 at 03:14 AM
The Mayor and Councilmember Newton have repeatedly given interviews to other publications on the exact same issue.
Theresa Defino June 07, 2012 at 03:15 AM
You always say the most mature things, Saul. Too bad Patch doesn't follow its own rules to moderate comments. His comments were completely appropriate.
Mark Pierzchala June 07, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Acting City Manager Jenny Kimball did the right thing in not disclosing the resignation of Carlos Vargas. Mr. Vargas had every right to resign quietly, and she respected that. I wish Mr. Vargas well. I note that he was able to easily land another job in the HR field.
Dan Cohen June 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Mr. Pierzchala, your statement is outrageous and irresponsible. The (Acting) City Manager’s responsibilities are to report to the M&C. Her job description does not include performing favors of obfuscation on behalf of outgoing managers in the middle of an employee relations debacle, which is currently under investigation by an outside firm. She had a duty to inform the M&C of Vargas’ resignation soon after receiving it on May 11th. According to the Sentinel, she waited for more than 3 weeks to inform the M&C and then waited one more day, until after Vargas was gone. http://www.thesentinel.com/mont/ROCKVILLEHR Mr. Pierzchala, were you informed as to Vargas’ resignation prior to June 2nd? If so, why did you not come forward with this information? Your philosophy of government behind closed doors and obfuscation must end now.
CP June 07, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Mr. Pierzchala, if you really believe Ms. Kimball did the right thing in not letting you and the other Councilmembers know of Mr. Vargas' resignation when she received it, in light of the current investigation and potential lawsuits, then you have lost sight of the fact that City staff are, like the rest of us, capable of making mistakes in judgement. Not all criticism of staff is "bashing", as you are so quick to accuse anyone who doesn't see eye-to-eye with staff actions or opinions, of. If you think it was right for Mr. Vargas to leave quietly, to slip out the back door while no one was looking, then that is a sad testimony to how you view accountability, integrity and rectitude. He took the easy way out, and to condone it says something about you.

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