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Friday, September 2, 2016

Report on city hall rumors by Councilman Pete Souza

The morale and welfare is the inherent responsibility of the City Manager and the elected officials representing the citizens of Crossville

                     It is a fundamental principal of leadership to address issues such as rumors which have a tendency to lower morale and cause strife.

                     The City has gone into a period where rumors run wild resulting in negative effects on the morale of employees and thus the effectiveness of their performance to the community.

                     An argument can be made that this is untrue.  However, that argument (that there are no rumors) would publicly have to be made and the words of that argument be put to the employees.  At that time, the person/persons with such an argument will mentally be evaluated and unkind thoughts may develop as to their creditability.

                     The atmosphere brought about the firing of the City Manager, the resignation of Police Chief Shoap, the false allegations given to the press that he was under investigation, the information surrounding criminal action of an elective official, and events preceding that action, the moving the date forward to select a city manager, the sudden interest to have succession plans in place (an executive/administrative duty of the City Manager) given to the City Attorney has brought about the atmosphere that makes the rumor mill run wide open.

                     While I place no evidence of creditability of the rumors, I also recognize how the concepts and arguments exist.  One Council person stated that “no one should believe the rumors”.  A good enough statement, but it had no explanation why the rumors of the employees are not true.  Remembering these rumors were generated by the employees.

                     I am going to list the rumors in the order they were brought to my attention:

1.                      That J.H. Graham after recognizing the formidable opposition he faced in the election agreed to take the position of City Manager.
2.                     That a back door agreement was made that, at the last opportunity, a candidate for City Manager will apply with the understanding that Steve Hill will replace Ms. French at the parks department, that a new appointee will replace Chief Rosser, and that Ms. Oglesby will be replaced by the Assistant City Clerk.

I do not endorse these rumors for the following reasons:
1.                      No evidence exists
2.                     In order for all this to take part, a minimum of three elected officials and a 4th party would have had to collude.  The shear comprehensions that four persons would be so intellectually challenged to believe they could get away with it on the eve of a election is beyond grasp.

Normally, something of this nature is addressed at a work shop.  However, since the Mayor cannot call a work shop and only the inner circle can call a work shop, the public council meeting is the correct forum to discuss this.

                     I believe it is incumbent for this Council to dispel these rumors at this meeting so that the employees can go forward without fear of losing their jobs.

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