Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Smith’

Update 7/12–for a brief report of this item at last night’s council meeting, see my comment, which is third in the comment stream below.

I am reprinting below Gloria Sayler’s excellent piece on Council overreaching and disrespect of staff, which she sent out on her Island Observer listserv yesterday. To her analysis of possible violations Governance Manual, I add the state statute that prohibits Council members from giving orders to subordinates of the City Manager. 

The chip seal contract is back on the agenda for tonight’s Council meeting. It will be interesting to see whether Interim City Manager Morgan Smith will offer support for her Public Works Director, in light of the aggressive micromanagement by Council member Dave Ward.

Many important issues have been discussed in recent Council meetings but the question I am frequently asked is “Why is the Council/City so dysfunctional?”  Of course, there is no single reason but I think I understand some of the elements. First, government, even in our small City, is more complicated than one may think at first or second glance.

Another reason, related to the first, is on display almost every Wednesday night – the time involved.  Most weeks the Council meeting lasts 3-5 hours. If you think about any meetings you attend, most people have a difficult time maintaining their focus after the 2nd hour. (more…)

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Interim City Manager Morgan Smith sent this memo this morning, addressed to police department employees and copied to the media:

I would like to thank you for your continued effort as we together navigate a particularly challenging time. The past few months have included some stressful events, and I want you to know that I am very focused on how to best move our work forward in the face of these pressures. I appreciated the chance to speak with you directly about department issues and communication last month, and I look forward to continuing that conversation at our next meeting on July 12.

In particular, I am aware that Chief Fehlman’s extended absence has placed extra demands on the department. I am extremely grateful to Commander Shultz for her management over the past few weeks, and her willingness to take on additional responsibilities is much appreciated. That appreciation extends to each of you, as I know there are ripple effects that require the entire department to step forward and respond.  (more…)

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The conversation at the Council meeting tonight began with council member Anne Blair talking about the many communications the council has received from citizens and staff about the choice for Interim City Manager. She also indicated that she and others on the ad hoc committee who brought Mike Caldwell to Bainbridge had been surprised at his remarks about change during his interview.

There was a smattering of citizen comment–about equal for and against Caldwell.

And then the surprise. On a motion by Bob Scales and seconded by Kirsten Hytopoulos, Acting City Manager Morgan Smith became Interim City Manager. The vote was 4-2, with Scales, Hytopoulos, Anne Blair and Sarah Blossom voting in favor, and Debbi Lester and Steve Bonkowski voting against. Dave Ward was absent.

I want to give a shout out to Sarah Blossom, who broke with her usual voting bloc. She said she’d been in favor of giving Caldwell the nod, but was voting for Smith because in the time it would take to find an outside Interim, the council may well be close to finding a permanent City Manager. (more…)

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