QUESTION: What’s the story about Andy Wilson supposedly wanting to leave the City Council?

ANSWER: There’s nothing much to it.  When Andy Wilson was appointed to the Council in June 2015, he made no commitment to run for a full term this year.  Andy loves serving on the Council, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to put himself and his family through a lengthy political campaign.  So he didn’t make a final decision to continue until last fall – a few months before the candidate-filing period opened for the March 7th election.  During that period of uncertainty, Wilson also considered the implications of a possible career change.

FACT: Pasadena voters long ago decided that our City Council should be a part-time job.  It pays less than $1500 a month, so every member of the Council is either retired or holds a full-time job.  There are few other options for anyone who is not independently wealthy.

FACT: Wilson has worked for many years as an entrepreneur and investor.  As he transitioned from his most recent business venture, he had to decide what to do next:  Launch another start-up?  Or seek more traditional work?   With a 20-year track record of community service, looking at community-based organizations made sense. The time required to serve on the City Council was also one of several factors making a job with more predictable hours (and less travel) attractive.

FACT: Over the course of six months or so Wilson explored more than 30 job possibilities.  The vast majority had no connection at all with the City of Pasadena.  A few possible jobs, however, had some overlap with the City – including leadership roles at the Tournament of Roses and Hollywood Burbank Airport.

FACT: Because of the City connections, Wilson quite properly sought preliminary legal counsel from the City Attorney and Fair Political Practices Commission about the potential consequences of taking any of these jobs.  He wanted to know what conflicts they might pose – and whether they might even require him to leave the Council.

FACT: As it happened, neither the Tournament nor the Airport turned into likely possibilities.  The exploratory periods were brief, and were concluded well before Andy pulled papers to run for Council.

FACT: Ultimately, Wilson decided to seek election to a full term on the Council.  Having made that commitment, Andy also decided he would no longer consider job options that might pose a conflict or even require him to step down.

QUESTION: So Wilson briefly pursued several jobs before deciding to run for a full-term, but ultimately took none of them.  Why is that an issue?

ANSWER: It isn’t.  Nothing out of the ordinary happened; and nothing remotely improper has even been alleged. This is just the latest of many baseless attempts by Phil Hosp to cast doubt on Andy Wilson’s integrity via innuendo.

FACT:  This particular charge grew out of a bizarre echo of last year’s ugly presidential race: the Hosp campaign forced the City to spend tax dollars collecting, reviewing and turning over some 15,000(!) e-mails sent and received by Andy Wilson since he joined the City Council.

FACT:   A handful – less than one-tenth of one-percent – turned out to have been sent from a City account when, arguably, they belonged on a private account.  Some were accidental answers to inquiries incorrectly addressed to the City account.  One or two were simply careless, including one resume sent out to his existing network.  None were deemed serious issues by the City Attorney.

FACT:  That’s it.  After spending months combing through e-mails, a few misdirected messages and this phony job-search issue is all they came up with.  The meager results should surprise no one, since there was never any basis for seeking the e-mails in the first place – just a wasteful and juvenile attempt to play “gotcha” politics in the all-too-familiar style of “big-league” national campaigns.