Gold Hill council continues Gasso talks

GOLD HILL — City Council members made no decision regarding pending litigation involving former Public Works Director Royal Gasso after an executive session Friday.

Though the meeting was closed to the public, a half-dozen audience members turned out for opening remarks and to wait outside.

Council members present were Mike Ely, Jan Fish and Kathleen Price and Mayor Gus Wolf. Donna Silva was absent.

Former Councilwoman Judi Holdeman, who announced earlier this week that she had been told "by someone who would know" that the council would discuss rehiring Gasso, passed out fliers titled "NO GASSO."

Gasso, 56, was fired last month after being arrested for driving while under the influence of intoxicants and drug possession. Holdeman's flier outlined a list of funding related issues she said proved the city could "not afford to hire Royal back."

Based on his contract with the city, he is entitled to nine months' severance pay, or $45,000.

Following the meeting, council spokesman Mike Ely said the council could not comment because negotiations were taking place between attorneys.

Ely noted, "The city is hopeful that a settlement can be reached that is in the best interest of all parties concerned."

Following the meeting, Holdeman said her "speaking out" had dissuaded the council from voting to rehire Gasso.

"I was told they were going to hire him back by more than one person. I didn't want to take any chances not standing up and telling them what I thought about the situation, so I showed up and they didn't vote," she said Friday.

"He had nine months' severance if he was fired for no cause. They had plenty of cause to fire him but he's suing anyway. It really makes you wonder, what is his hold over this City Council?"

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at

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