Aug 11 2018

OPINIONS: Council Will Be Required to Hire Key Employees But Proposed Charter Revision Allows Only the City Administrator to Terminate Council Chosen Key Employees

November 2018 Ballot Measure Proposes to Alter How Piedmont is Governed through a City Charter Revision  – 

The Piedmont City Charter revision on the November 2018 Ballot requires the City Council to hire key Piedmont employees, such as the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director, City Clerk, Planning Director, and Public Works Director.  However, the Council would be prohibited from terminating the employees they hired under the proposed Charter revision, which would allow only the City Administrator to terminate those Council hired employees. 

A number of Piedmonters have stated this revision to the City Charter changes Piedmont governance creating an inherently flawed system and should not be approved by Piedmont voters at the November 2018 election.   

Council hired employees would serve at “the pleasure of the the City Administrator,” not the Council that recruited, chose and hired them. 

George Childs, long time observer and spokesman regarding Piedmont governance, wrote:

Our government is supposed to be based on a system of checks and balances. To put the entire responsibility for firing on one individual [City Administrator] flies in the face of this concept. We have seen the dangers in letting one administrator guide major decisions.

Melanie Robertson, former Piedmont Planning Commissioner and active community volunteer writes:

I agree with George Childs’ comment re the dangers of having one individual have sole responsibility for firing city officials. This definitely is not a good idea. Our city officials are hard working, talented and dedicated individuals, and a setup such as this needlessly puts their careers in jeopardy if they don’t happen to see eye-to-eye with the administrator.  It also makes the city more vulnerable to wrongful termination lawsuits. A system of checks and balances is a better alternative for both city staff and residents of Piedmont.

Piedmont voters will have one opportunity to vote on the proposed City Charter changes at the November 6, 2018 Election. 

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