Tempe city manager sends e-mail to staff, saying he expects to be fired
By Dianna M. Náñez The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:49 AM
Tempe City Manager Charlie Meyer sent an e-mail Friday morning to every city employee stating that he expects to be fired. It includes a scathing quotation that appears to be directed toward the Tempe City Council, which controls employment of the city manager.
In the e-mail, titled “Do Good Anyway,” Meyer writes that he wants to clear up rumors circulating that he has resigned his position. He writes that he has not resigned.
“While I have not resigned my position, I do expect to be fired by the City Council within the next couple of weeks,” he writes. “As the ‘at will’ appointee of the Council they can terminate me without cause per the City Charter.”
Meyer adds that it has been his “honor to have served with the employees of the city of Tempe and trust that you will carry on with the highest standards of excellence and integrity.”
Meyer prefaces the quote he includes in his memo by saying that it may explain his employment situation.
“As perspective, I would offer the following words of wisdom from one of the wisest women this world has known, Mother Teresa:
“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough; give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God, it was never between you and them anyway.”
City Manager Charlie Meyer's e-mail to staff
Tempe votes to fire City Manager Meyer
By Dianna Nanez The Republic | azcentral.com Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:30 PM
Charlie Meyer was fired Monday as Tempe city manager by a 5-2 vote.
Council members Onnie Shekerjian and Kolby Granville voted to retain Meyer, 60, who had held the position since 2007.
Mayor Mark Mitchell and council members Robin Arredondo-Savage, Shana Ellis, Joel Navarro and Corey Woods voted for dismissal, citing issues that included lack of communication skills.
Meyer, who made $188,989, did not attend.
Council chambers were about half full for the 4 p.m. meeting, and several residents spoke in favor of Meyer, noting that he had led the city out of a difficult financial situation during his tenure. Shekerjian and Granville echoed that praise.
Woods, however, noted an e-mail that Meyer sent Friday to every city employee indicating that he expected to be fired soon. It included a scathing quotation that appeared to be directed toward the City Council. Woods termed the e-mail unfortunate and unprofessional.
The council appointed Meyer in 2007, when Hugh Hallman was mayor. Less than two years later, the council narrowly approved Meyer’s at-will employment contract on a 4-3 vote at a September 2009 meeting.
At the time, Meyer drew high praise as well as criticism that included claims that he ignored workers’ complaints of discrimination at the hands of department chiefs. Council members Mitchell, Navarro and Ben Arredondo voted against approving Meyer’s contract. Hallman, Ellis, Shekerjian and Woods voted in favor of it.
In the years since, Meyer has received praise for his handling of the budget, managing cutbacks and the first layoffs in Tempe’s history.
However, Tempe has dealt with several high-profile problems in recent years, including a scandal that led to the resignation of the city’s fire chief. Residents were critical of Meyer’s decision to ban televising the public-comments period of City Council meetings. The decision sparked criticism over the public’s free-speech rights.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts