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Reader's Forum
End the investigation
Article published on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005
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Editor:
This letter will serve as a note of my indignation and that of others attending the commission meeting last week, regarding the termination of city employee Steve Andrews.

What should have been a simple investigation of facts (did the city manager have the authority to terminate and was this done properly), it appears, has turned into an inquisition with the city manager being the focal point of at least two commissioners’ venomous attacks.

It seems that they had made up their minds on the city manager’s actions while requesting more review. Only Commissioner R.B. Johnson expressed wisdom in requesting that the investigation should be finished, but the others requested an all day session to review the 1,000 pages of material be reviewed page by page. This review was granted. Does all work at the city stop while this inquisition continues?

Several items are particularly disturbing. They are:

1. One commissioner called for a performance review of the city manager. The Mayor reminded those that joined in the chorus, that the manager had been reviewed recently and received a raise. Where is continuity here? Also, did not the commission last year promote the manager to his position early, before his 90-day probation period was over for his good work acting as a manager?

2. A commissioner said he had read every page of the investigative report. What a prodigious effort. If a speed-reader can read for content a page- and one-half a minute, that would take, if my math serves me correctly, 1,500 minutes or 25 hours. An amazing effort in a four-day span, with the Super Bowl being played on Sunday, and Monday and Tuesday, working days.

I ask that the commission, take a bold, nonpolitical step and quickly end this investigation and its waste of time and money. Let the city manager go back to running the daily operation of the city. And commissioners, please get back to the main thrust of your job on which the public has elected you – approving expenditures, approving development, planning future budgets and having a vision and working toward what our community will look like in future years. Restore some of the credibility lost during this inquisition.

R. Victor Wood
Indian Rocks Beach
Article published on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005
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