Los Banos, CA – Last night, the Los Banos City Council unanimously approved the employment contract for Charles Bergson as the new Public Works Director. The decision was made during a council meeting that neither Bergson nor Los Banos City Manager Josh Pinheiro attended, and there was no opportunity for public commentary.
Previously, Charles Bergson served as City Manager of Isleton, where a governance issue arose. In 2021, the Sacramento County Grand Jury reported that the Isleton City Council violated state law by failing to fill a council vacancy in a timely manner, choosing not to appoint a new member or hold a special election due to concerns about costs.
Josh Pinheiro, who led the hiring process, has been scrutinized for his lack of experience as City Manager, was reportedly away at a conference. Councilmember Deborah Lewis expressed disappointment over Bergson’s absence at the meeting and noted a lack of detailed information about his qualifications, although the council ultimately approved the contract as a consent agenda item.
There was no response from city council members regarding inquiries about Bergson’s history and its relevance to his new position. The absence of both Bergson and Pinheiro from the meeting has led to questions about leadership accountability and commitment to public transparency.
This story is ongoing.