Over the past couple of days, I have been contacted by people on both sides, who feel very passionately about the recent termination of city manager Keith Parker. Keith and I have met on a few occasions, and I believe we could have worked well together. I wish him well in his future endeavors.
If I were Mayor, would I have done the same thing? Without inside information, I cannot say. I do not have any more information than the rest of the public on the circumstances surrounding his firing.
Considering the current COVID crisis, with continued risks to public and financial health, I can say that as Mayor, I would not consider such a consequential action unless I felt the current situation was preventing the city from responding to the needs of the people. I would also not make such a dramatic move unless a plan is in place to ensure continuity of leadership.
I think that it is essential at this point to look forward and make the best of this situation. I call on the Mayor and current commission to begin the process of selecting a new city manager but leave the final decision of who to hire to the next Mayor and City Commission.
I hope that in the remaining term of the current commission that they can put the current hard feelings aside, stop the public in-fighting, and focus on what is essential: leading Frankfort through the current COVID crisis and beyond.