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Paper Clips

Take an informed stance

Recent letters to the editor in favor of the former city manager have had me scratching my head. People I've never heard of write in, penning about how great, tremendous and wonderful he is.

This may no doubt be true.

What I don't understand is the blanket condemnation of city council for his relatively short tenure and what appeared to be sudden departure.

Most, if not all, letters were written by people who had few dealings with him. How many have been written by the people he worked for, the city council, or the ones he worked with at city hall?

My hope is that those who've referred to him as the only hope for Sunnyside or called Sunnyside the laughing stock of the state (look down the road to Mabton) did intense research.

My idea of intense research isn't reading the newspaper.

I've met the former city manager. Through Rotary, I know he has a passion for marathons. On occasion, he'd announce good, hopeful news for the city. I've seen him speak at Kiwanis. I've greeted him out and about in public.

There's no way I'd take a stand on whether or not his termination was justified based on those interactions. Meeting and greeting out in public doesn't quantify an informed stance.

If I were to speak out in favor or not, here are some steps that I'd take:

I'd ask council members on both sides of the vote what exactly led them to the decision. I'd want to hear the good and the bad.

I'd request, under the freedom of information act, to see a copy of the former city manager's evaluation. What was it based on? Who conducted it? How many people had a say in this man's performance? What were some of the examples cited in the evaluation that supported the evaluator's opinion?

My hope is that those who are calling for fresh, new council members are asking heaps and loads of questions from a variety of different sources, including the people who worked for the city manager and the people he worked for.

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