Bill Green: City manager firing ... I have some questions

Whether you’re a fan of embattled City Manager Steve Thompson or not, the actions by City Council Monday night, especially those of Chairman Frank Recker, should be of great concern to you. On that note, I have some questions.

If firing Thompson was the right thing to do, wasn’t it worth doing the right way? None of the issues noted by Recker constituted an emergency, so why not place it on the next City Council agenda, and give people on both sides proper notice to speak?

I hate to deal in rumors, but I started hearing that this issue might come up around the middle of last week. Since it did, one might even argue there was enough time to put proper notice before this meeting. So if the issue was being contemplated, why not place it on the agenda?

It appears one of the main problems you have with Thompson is transparency. Yet you fire him in a less than transparent way. Therefore, and by that logic, shouldn’t you resign?

Three council members wanted more time to do a more formal review. Was it really in the city’s best interest to rush this along? With all the ongoing issues this city has, the expense to pay Thompson out and a search for a new manager, is this a fiscally sound decision? Especially in these times? Was it not worth taking a week or two to digest?

With so little public discussion among the council members, how in the heck did a consensus of four councilmen happen so quickly?

On that note, I’ve heard a lot of rumors that I won’t share here. I hope they’re not true. But their mere existence tells me that this issue should have been handled with more care.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I ask the City Council to rescind their vote. Give this a proper hearing. If this outcome was just, it will stand.

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Comments » 16

marcofriend writes:

Thanks for your thoughts Bill! Where were you when they railroaded the naming of City Hall after someone who also was quite controversial? It was not on the agenda and it was an obvious setup with that persons friends attending the meeting obviously knowing ahead of time it was coming up and when one citizen spoke in the negative he was escorted out of the meeting. You certainly seem to pick and choose your battles.

ed34145 writes:

VERY well said.

August8 writes:

"Oh Yea" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On target, who will they fire next, are these people just so full of themselves that turmoil is the only thing they can deal with ?? I have seen many affluent communities like these, never seen behavior like this ??

ezeee writes:

Well said Mr Green, my thoughts exactly!

EdFoster writes:

You have made a point, Bill, but the performance of the CM is ALWAYS subject to review, and from newspaper reports, it was apparent that the Chairman wanted a review and wanted it now. That is his prerogative ... as it is Mr. Thompson's prerogative to challenge the decision to fire him. The City Manager has been secretive when the Council Chair has asked for openness. He kept information from the council which is not his right. He reports to the council. The council is the Board of Directors of the city; the CM is its CEO. When the CEO fails to keep the Board informed, he should be fired ... and he was. If I were the CM, I would not pursue this issue. He may not like what true government in the sunshine will reveal about his actions. He was fired from his last job for similar reasons. It's his modus operandus and probably the reason Bill Moss recommended him.

Ed Foster

jwputnam writes:

You know, all of this banter about mistreating Thompson makes me want to puke. What motivates you people?

The mere fact that Thompson kept Harrison on the payroll at great expense (in more ways than one) was enough to get him fired. STUPIDITY!!!! Of course, there wasn't an accountant in all of SWFL that could do the job. Right? Maybe they just didn't know where the bodies were buried?

Of course, Harrison was worth every cent. So much so that the audit is still incomplete and the City will pay an additional $18,000 to get it done.....that is if they are able to reconcile the little issue of three million dollars that seems to be floating around without an account assigned to it.

What is wrong with you people? Why do you feel the need to defend the incompetent (and crooked) simply because you hate the "Cave Dwellers" for God knows what reason? (Incidentally....for the perpetually naive...the STRP was created to releive the condo owners, businesses, hotels, realtors. The City HAD to stick the home owners....and if you don't want to believe that, then why do you think that a letter was sent to all condo types warning them that their costs would increase by 40 to 60 thousand a unit if Magel wasn't elected? hmmm? Any notion that it was all about "polluting" Marco was poppycock! Only the true believers...read imbeciles....still fall for that line...although it was a stroke of genius, I admit.)

It took me only ONE conversation with Thompson to determine that he was a lightweight and a master of obfuscation. He could not answer a very simple question simply. My response to him at that time was "you answered my question"....but I doubt that he understood my meaning.

Finally, he had PLENTY of warning...like a whole year's worth.

Incidentally, for all of you City Admin defenders out there: Tell me why this town has a propensity to hire people who have been fired elsewhere and pay them HUGE salaries. Joel was involved in a HUGE scandal in Ohio and testified to crimes he was involved in. Harrison was fired by the City of Naples for accounting irregularities (sound familiar). Thompson was fired by the City of Deltona.

IS THIS THE BEST WE CAN DO?????? I fell like I live in Bizarro World (I stole that line from another writer....cuz it is so perfect).

As long as I am on a roll: Why do we vote in councilmen that cannot handle their own finances and let them run up a tab of about $260,000,000 for all of us? Are we all nuts? Look at these financial geniuses: Tucker, Popoff, Waldack, Gibson, Patterson. Come on people! Do you really want to defend these people? Please!

John Putnam

PS I have NO aliases. Never have had. Ask Bill Green. He'll tell you. I believe in what I say. I don't need to hide. Matter of fact, stop by and see me anytime you like. I am normally working on projects in my garage. I'll even buy you coffee....seriously.

blogsmog writes:

"Three council members wanted more time to do a more formal review. Was it really in the city’s best interest to rush this along."

Bob Green or Mike Green or whatever wanna be, have you been around Marco politics in the last five years or so?
You don't know the opponents in the game yet?
go back to community college and finish your liberal arts A.A.

lauralbi1 writes:

Ed: Nobody, absolutely nobody of any importance cares what you think. Let's just see who blogs in disagreement with that and you will see my point. You have caused Marco enough damage and cost us enough money. You live in North Carolina, not Marco Island. We know you left with a damaged ego, but live with it.
Ed Issler

Fossil writes:

I am offended that our local newspaper publishes an opinion by an employee that is clearly designed to influence and change a political decision. You may interview, you may investigate, you may report and you may record but you have no right to use your media to influence elected officials in the performance of their duties. Who elected you to use your newspaper and your readers to advance your own private belief? Is this paper owned by FOX? You are practicing propaganda and need to get back in your box. The elected officials that made this decision all ran on platforms that promised transparency. They were elected and they are simply performing their duty to their community. You should be ashamed.

Fossil writes:

Incidently, I remind you that Mr. Thompson is not an elected official. He was an employee of the city and he was fired by his supervisors. Not much different then when you fired a reporter that was very popular. How would you have liked it if the City Council at the time had used their influence and passed a resolution demanding that you reinstate him? The City Council was performing thier duty and did so in the interest of the City and community they represent. You owe your readers an apology.

jwputnam writes:

in response to Fossil:

Incidently, I remind you that Mr. Thompson is not an elected official. He was an employee of the city and he was fired by his supervisors. Not much different then when you fired a reporter that was very popular. How would you have liked it if the City Council at the time had used their influence and passed a resolution demanding that you reinstate him? The City Council was performing thier duty and did so in the interest of the City and community they represent. You owe your readers an apology.

YES.......EXCELLENT FOSSIL!

EdFoster writes:

Issler:

I'm getting old. Exactly when did I appoint you my psychoanalyst? And exactly when and by whom were you appointed as the judge of who are "people of importance"? Your hubris is exceeded only by your stupidity!

Ed Foster

Capt_Buzz writes:

Well said Mr. Green. It's how many of us feel. Not a fan of Thompson and not surprised he got fired. It's not that Thompson got fired it's the way he got fired; no public notice and they already had a interim city manager picked out. Looks very suspect!

jwputnam writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ed...I second that.

sailingalong writes:

Mr. Green, You need to focus your attention on your dying newspaper and let the politics of Marco Island play out. Why do you think you have the right to judge our politics? Why would you alienate a substantial number of your declining readership by taking a political position? Thompson was bad for the city and we are well served to be rid of him.

ajm3s writes:

Mr. Green: I have some questions.

Why did the article of Mr. Thompson’s potential dismissal by Council not appear over the weekend, as did in competing news journals in Ft. Myers and here locally in the Marco Island Sun Times?

There were other articles that were release by the Eagle over the same weekend, but surprisingly no mention of the impending Council meeting on Monday to discuss Mr. Thompson's performance.

With your comments emblazoned in a Letter to the Editor, may I suggest you focus on the news at hand and perhaps not allow your opinions to blind the release of information that may not be to your liking?

Just asking. Sometimes it is lonely at the top.

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