Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Brief first views on sacking of Tucson manager Hein
UPDATE, 4/10: Another important sacking today as Rio Nuevo director Greg Shelko was fired by interim City Manager Mike Letcher. This is an overdue good move, as Shelko seemed to drop the ball too many times. City insiders say one of the main reasons Hein was fired was because he refused to pull Shelko off Rio Nuevo. Albert Elias, the top city planner, may be the right person to oversee Rio Nuevo, at least for a while.
TUCSON -- I'll offer a few quick thoughts on this evening's firing of City Manager Mike Hein by majority vote of the city council.
Mike is not a bad guy, and he had a tough job. He made some mistakes, as most people do. What counts most today though is a majority of the city council decided he'd made one mistake too big or too many to continue.
Hein was responsible for day-to-day handling of Rio Nuevo and other city business. The council's big move today demonstrates in a way the majority is serious about new management and accountability on Rio Nuevo, which city critics may recognize and welcome. At the capitol, this change could help business leaders, Pima County legislators and others supporting keeping the Rio Nuevo TIF money in Tucson.
The city council is elected to make these tough decisions, that's our democracy. I will not second guess the majority vote at this time. They did what they thought was best, and that is their job. I also respect the views of the mayor and two council members who voted to keep Hein. I'm sure this was a tough decision for all councilmembers, and I wish Mike Hein and his family well in Oro Valley.
Mike Letcher, a capable and experienced manager, should do a decent job as interim city manager until the mayor and council appoint someone new. I encourage them to 'think big' and look at all options near and far for the best new city manager we can get.