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The City Manager, as the subject of the executive session on personnel matters, unilaterally chose to have the hearing in public. That is her right. She was not merely "approving" a Council decision. Her choice was independent of "the urging of a few Council members".
Last Friday's meeting is one of the most disturbing I have ever viewed.
It is implicit that 2 decisions were made outside of open meetings. One is to terminate the City Manager. The second is to pay her more than the severance pay stipulated in her contract. The citizens clearly ended up paying legal protection money. Yet, the legal risk was not substantiated. What's more, the Council sought legal advice from their attorney in the presence of the City Manager, while the City Manager spoke to her attorney in private. Arguments put forth by some Council members that the extra severance was a performance bonus or was following precedent rang hollow.
The whole event served to further erode the public's trust in Council.
After the public session, the Council went into executive session to discuss the letter from the newspaper alleging violations of open meetings law. Upon emerging from that, Sonja Macys declared that, although she was physically present at the executive session, she was prevented from participating.
What is the public supposed to think?
The editorial manages to be blustery and hyperbolic while also being trivial and trite.
Would the editor please investigate why the last three City Managers have walked away with severance packages way larger than their contracts stipulated, and why the reasoning behind it is a big secret?
It seems to me that this Council majority still cannot get out of its own way.
Also please explain how 5 Council seats can be up for grabs. I only count 4. Am I missing something?
Why is the last Council meeting not recorded and available to watch online? I'd like to see how the Council majority justified the severance package offered.
In addition to the current challenges mentioned, there are two more I would like to add:
1) We need to wean ourselves off of our dependence on new construction, euphemistically called "growth". We still count on use-tax to fund regular maintenance. That is fiscally irresponsible.
2) We need to change the Development Code so that it doesn't encourage boom and bust cycles. The fact that development rights are seemingly vested forever, and are transferable, also strikes me as fiscally irresponsible.
The least she could do is drive a bus this Winter in exchange for 6 months salary.
It would also have to include a release of legal liability. But this doesn't answer the question of what the City is potentially liable for.
If the City signs a contract, with a City Manager, that stipulates a specific severance package, why have we had to negotiate much larger severance packages with the last 3 Managers?
It appears that, in all three cases, the City was buying legal protection. What is it that the City is doing that it needs protection from? The explanation that it's for job performance strikes me as so much diplomatic nonsense. This costs taxpayers a lot of money, and has not been adequately justified and explained to the people footing the bill in any of the three instances.
There is a cloud hanging over the City as a result of this, and it will not go away with anyone"s departure.
This needs to be addressed. The City needs to come clean.
Scott- I agree on the latter but not the former.
We don't need stronger, more concentrated leadership. We need more citizens taking the time to actually understand local issues and participate in public process.
Has the County considered providing remote video visitation in addition to in-person visits rather than instead of them? If prisoners and their families voluntarily reduce their in-person visits, then costs will go down and the new system will have proven its merits.
Has the newspaper considered interviewing prisoners and their families in order to more fairly
cover this issue?
I don't mean to rain on the parade, but I think there may be a misunderstanding of the facts. I had questioned a City Councilperson, a while back, about the decision to hire a Deputy City Manager. I was told that the decision belonged to the City Manager and not the Council. There was sufficient money already budgeted so no new funds needed to be approved by Council. As you recall, we lost Casey, one of two assistants to the City Manager, so ample funds were available. Consulting with Council on such a move may have been a good idea nonetheless.
I acknowledge that it's a full time job for any citizen to get down to the truth about anything in this City, and that is unfortunate. Perhaps more citizens would participate in public process if it wasn't so difficult.
Last login: Sunday, May 22, 2016
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