Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009 Crumley: Where's The Tape? Senter: It's My Tape, But I'll Play It For You and the Mayor

The City Council meeting was over quickly, and then the work session began. Work session agenda topics: Chief Overholt's proposal that city council set a fixed price that tow trucks can charge when they are called to a wreck by a police officer on a rotating basis and a wellness proposal for city employees.

Although it was not on the agenda, the work session ended with City Administrator Jim Crumley hurriedly passing out his proposed severance package/contract. Crumley didn't discuss the terms of the proposal that he passed out, and neither did any councilmember.

Councilmember Senter said that Crumley's contract needed to be reviewed by city attorney Dick Jessee, Crumley said he had provided the contract to Jessee when Jessee left the work session earlier...and then the fireworks started.

Crumley told Senter that he wanted a copy of the audio tape that she made at Thursday's Finance Committee meeting. [Crumley missed the Finance Committee meeting while on a sand/surf/turf vacation but listened in via telephone. Mayor Barile, Crumley's most vocal supporter, was out-of-town and did not attend.].

During the Finance Committee meeting at which Senter made her tape, discussion took place regarding moving forward with removal of Crumley---with Senter throwing out four possibilities. (1) Approve the council's removal agreement that provides for a severance package of $110,000. (2) Continue to negotiate a removal amount with Crumley. (3) Fire Crumley "for cause" with stated reasons for the firing. (4) Let Crumley remain as City Administrator.

Now back to the tape: Senter said it was her personal tape. Crumley said he wanted a copy and added that they could do it the hard way or the easy way. Senter said she would meet with Crumley and play it for him. Crumley said that Mayor Barile had also asked for a copy and had been refused. Senter said she would meet with the Mayor, Crumley, and Crumley's attorney and play the tape for all of them. She added that she would be e-mailing the minutes of that meeting to everyone.

There was no public discussion about the price of Crumley's "retirement." Among the major items in Crumley's proposal are that he will leave/retire if the council agrees to give him around $129,000 in severance pay and around $43,000 for sick leave plus Crumley wants the city to pay for his health insurance for several months after his semi-voluntary "retirement."

Citizen-Tribune reporter Bob Moore left the work session before Crumley passed out his proposed contract and price for retirement. Like he did for Jessee, Crumley had probably given Moore a copy of his severance proposal even before it was given to Mayor Barile and councilmembers. Because he left early, Reporter Moore missed the exchange between Crumley and Senter.

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