By Janene Scully,

Noozhawk North County Editor

Solvang City Attorney Dave Fleishman has submitted his resignation two months after an odd attempt at firing him in a meeting called and then canceled without discussion on the topic. 

When he leaves July 31, it will culminate 21 years of service to Solvang for Fleishman and his law partner, Roy Hanley, from the Atascadero-based firm of Hanley & Fleishman LLP.

The announcement of his resignation came Wednesday after the Solvang City Council met the previous night for what included a special closed session involving evaluation of the city attorney.

“Not withstanding the nearly universally positive performance evaluation session at last night’s council meeting, it is clear to me on a number of levels that this is the right course of action for me and my law partner,” Fleishman said in his resignation letter. 

“The City Council majority is entitled to and should be served by a city attorney whose ethical standards and commitment to the rule of law more closely match their own,” he added.

Mayor Ryan Toussaint declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter. 

In March, a special meeting called by Toussaint listed an agenda item: a closed session about public employee discipline, dismissal or release of the city attorney.

Another closed session topic called for public employee appointment of an interim city attorney and special city auditor. 

But the meeting lasted less than 10 minutes after Toussaint, who called for the session, failed to show up, leaving others perplexed.

“That meeting came as a surprise to me to say the least,” Fleishman said. 

Solvang was involved as a defendant in “almost no litigation during his firm’s tenure as city attorney, something unheard of in modern municipal government,” Fleishman said.

“It has been our privilege to serve dozens of Solvang mayors and council members over our nearly 21 years in the city attorney position, a period of time equal to nearly two-thirds of Solvang’s entire existence as a city,” Fleishman said.

“I wish the city the best of luck in the coming months and years, and I thank the city for the opportunity to have served the council, staff and residents of Solvang.”

With the city attorneys gone, the institutional memory for Solvang city government will be short due a relatively new City Council and a new city manager.

The current Solvang council’s longest serving member is Toussaint, who joined in late 2016. 

The next longest-service member is Karen Waite who was appointed to the council in late 2017.

The remaining three — Daniel Johnson, Chris Djernaes and Robert Clarke — have less than six months on the panel. 

Additionally, long-time City Manager Brad Vidro retired late last year and was replaced in April by David Gassaway. 

Fleishman continues to serve as city attorney for Pismo Beach. In 2017, he ended a stint as city attorney for Guadalupe. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at