Pleasant Hill's tweeting city clerk went out the way she came in: A paragon of immaturity.
Right up to the end, Kim Lehmkuhl never understood the job for which she ran and was elected in 2012, and blamed others for her failure to perform it.
On Monday, she spared the city the cost of a recall election by resigning, but she did so in an email resignation laced with a pathetic blaze of jaw-dropping accusations. It was akin to the hostile rant of a teenager lashing out at others because she couldn't get her homework done.
Council members were just relieved she had left. "To paraphrase Gerald Ford," said Mayor Tim Flaherty, "our long municipal nightmare is over."
Lehmkuhl had embarrassed the city and earned Bay Area notoriety for her failure to produce any meeting minutes during her first year in office, a primary function of the job. Rather than complete the most important task of her job, she spent her time sending out thousands of tweets.
When news stories and editorials in this paper exposed her behavior, the City Council set a deadline for completion of the minutes, a task finished only because staff members and outside contractors were brought in.
Because of her behavior, the City Council has placed on the November ballot a measure that would make the city clerk position an appointed one, as it should be, starting in 2016, the earliest date legally possible. Concurrently, residents had started a signature-gathering drive to recall Lehmkuhl before then.
The recall is now moot. But the issue of an appointed vs. elected clerk remains. Voters in November should approve the measure because the position is clearly an administrative one that should report to the city manager, and be subject to the standard disciplinary process for failure to perform.
Finally, there's the issue of filling the position until 2016. The council must make the appointment or let voters decide in November. They should choose the first course to save the city election expenses and, more importantly, ensure the position is filled quickly by someone who understands the job and can professionally carry out the tasks.
The Lehmkuhl affair has diverted energy and resources from city business for far too long. All five council members had called for her to resign. But it wasn't public sentiment that prompted her to quit; it was her new job with a labor-affiliated grass-roots organizing group in Washington, D.C.
We can only hope that both she and her new employers are clear on the duties of the job.