The Republic printed an opinion piece today by Jim Lane [caution: paywall], rebutting their editorial last week about the recent turnover and turmoil among senior city staff. Lane closed his letter with this statement:
We, the Council, recognize the importance of all the city employees and thus our desire to provide them with competent, trustworthy and ethical management.
To Lane’s specific points:
- I’m sure that the retirement of Planning, Neighborhoods and Transportation Director Connie Padian had nothing to do with being perpetually caught between anti-neighborhood, anti-general plan developers and their council members; and angry residents who just want the rules to be followed.
- City Judge Monte Morgan didn’t seem to give a reason for his retirement. Seems like a pretty good gig, probably the least visible (thus least harassed) charter officer position.
- I believe Water Resources Director Marshall Brown was just appointed by Governor Brewer to the Arizona Water Banking Authority.
- Fire Chief Garret Olson wouldn’t have left the Scottsdale post because of being excoriated by Mayor Lane and others on the council for not renewing the PMT Ambulance city contract.
- I can’t speak with authority on the departure of Human Resources Director Terry Welker but he seems to have been hired to do a job, the results of which may have been politically uncomfortable for Lane and the rest of the Council.
- City Manager David Richert’s “undisclosed work outside the city” was known by the mayor at the time he was hired. Richert was brought into the city manager job to advance a development agenda. When the General Plan changes failed in the spring and resident unrest over development issues began to boil, he was fired for pre-election political reasons.