One way or another, it’s clear that the firing “without cause” of Mission’s former CAO, at a cost of $388,000 to taxpayers, was wrong, wrong, wrong.
It would be very wrong if the firing was truly without cause; this would combine unconscionable injury and injustice to both the individual and the taxpayer.
Or it would be wrong if the firing was based upon some undisclosed cause that did not rise to the level where termination would be justified; this should have led to a formal reprimand (“shape up or ship out”) and a second chance, with no public embarrassment or cost.
Or it would be wrong if the firing was indeed justified, for some unstated reason that did not deserve a second chance. This should have led to termination with cause, in which case a lot of taxpayers’ money would be saved rather than wasted as a reward for unacceptable conduct.
Citizens will recall that serious concerns arose a year ago regarding staff morale and turnover. A majority of the previous council voted for an external audit to objectively determine the facts.
After a staff report presented statistics purporting that staff turnover was not abnormal, some votes switched and the audit was not undertaken.
It was important for the new council to review the situation (which may well have changed), performing due diligence with due process. Had they undertaken an audit, justice would then be done (and be seen to be done); if it produced a finding of just cause for staff termination(s), taxpayers could have been spared considerable expense.
It’s unacceptable for this mayor and council to spend $388,000 of taxpayers’ money (on anything) without satisfactory justification. It’s also unacceptable for them to force our newspaper, as the public’s watchdog, to file a Freedom of Information request to obtain information that the public has a right to know.
This mayor and council consistently seem to be defining themselves by two very troubling characteristics: being too secretive, and too loose with our tax dollars.