Gold Hill council sets meeting on Gasso

GOLD HILL — After a series of closed-door meetings to discuss ongoing litigation regarding former Public Works Director Royal Gasso, the City Council will hold a meeting today that could provide some closure.

The meeting, announced Friday and scheduled for 11 a.m. today at City Hall, calls for discussion of a "settlement agreement." Mayor Gus Wolf declined to elaborate, other than to confirm a decision would likely be made and that the final decision would take place outside the closed meeting.

Gasso, 56, was terminated last month after refusing to resign voluntarily.

He had been placed on unpaid administrative leave in June following an arrest in May by state police on drug-related charges.

Gasso was a controversial figure in Gold Hill for years. He was arrested in 2000 for violating conditions of his parole on an earlier drug conviction and the subject of a state ethics commission inquiry in 2007 over his use of a city-owned vehicle to commute from home to work.

Gasso, who worked for the city for 12 years, also has been credited with writing grants to complete needed street and water system projects and voluntarily agreed to enter drug treatment after his latest arrest.

After city officials requested his resignation, Gasso, who has not commented publicly since being terminated, retained the services of Ashland attorney Carolyn Anderson, who specializes in employment-related matters.

At a recent meeting, City Councilman Mike Eli said the council was involved in ongoing litigation and could not comment on the situation with Gasso.

The city has advertised Gasso's former position and, last week, announced that three of six applicants would be scheduled for future interviews.

While today's meeting will be a closed executive session, as allowed by state open meeting laws for personnel issues, any council decision must be made in open session.

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

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