Power To Fire Should Be Left To Super Majority

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There is a movement afoot to alter town code in a way that would open the door to dark deeds.

Town councilmembers are being lobbied to eliminate the super majority vote required to fire a department head. This is a bad idea.

Currently, in order for the council to terminate the fire chief, police chief, or other department leaders, it needs a 6-to-1 vote. This super majority is a built-in safeguard to prevent small groups or individuals from influencing just a few council members to obtain their personal designs. As you can imagine, in the public arena there will always be vengeful people, especially those involved in questionable activities, who would like to see town department heads fired.

If a department head has serious problems with job performance --o the point that their job is on the line --here should be plenty of evidence to convince a super majority of councilmembers.

If the code is changed, a single powerful person on a mission of revenge could bring about the termination of an effective department head.

For example, hypothetically, let's imagine that there was one person in a position of authority in town who was upset with the police chief. This person may have a personal vendetta against him because of something that occurred in the course of the chief's police work. He would only need to convince a few council members to take a vote and remove the chief, who in truth had a history of excellent job performance.

Mayor Murphy has included this change in his proposed strategic plan and also is recommending that the power to terminate a public department head also be given to the town manager.

Department heads, like our police chief, must be hired and fired by a solid majority of our elected representatives.

The council represents the voice of the people and should not be controlled by the voice of the few, or the one.

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