GUSTINE -- City Manager Margaret Silveira is resigning to become the city manager of Lakeport, Calif.
Silveira has been Gustine city manager since 2007. Before that she was economic development director for the city of Riverbank. Both Gustine and Lakeport have a population of about 5,100. Lakeport is about a 230-mile car ride to the north.
Gustine employees couldn't provide Silveira's last day of work, estimating only that it would be the end of March. Silveira herself was said to be out of the country and out of contact.
Gustine Councilman Joe Oliveira spoke highly of Silveira.
"I think her work was excellent for the city. I hate to see her leave. She brought us a lot of knowledge," Oliveira said.
Oliveira said Silveira helped the city score planning grants and a low-interest loan to upgrade its water system.
"She got a lot accomplished in her short time here," Oliveira said. "I don't like to see her go, but I don't blame her for making the move."
Not everyone is sad to see her go.
Former police chief Richard Calderon worked with Silveira for several months before she elected to buy out the remaining four months of Calderon's yearlong contract, effectively terminating him.
Calderon, being vague because of a confidentiality clause he said was in his contract with the city, said, "I believe the city manager engaged in improprieties, and I reported it to the mayor, city attorney and city council."
Calderon added, "I believe it's an opportunity for the city of Gustine to move forward in an open and honest and transparent manner."
Silveira leaves amid another unusual investigation. A Livingston police lieutenant is investigating impropriety by Gustine city employees or council members.
Livingston Police Lt. Chris Soria confirmed he's been asked to investigate "some things" by Gustine Interim Police Chief Jeff Schindler. Soria declined to answer any questions about the case or its nature, referring all calls to Schindler.
Neither Schindler nor Silveira returned numerous calls in recent weeks requesting information about the investigation. Oliveira said he knows vaguely about the investigation and said Silveira isn't involved in the case, and it has nothing to do with why she's leaving.
Reporter Amy Starnes can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.