It’s time for some transparency from the city council

So what’s up with the mixed messages coming out of the Susanville City Council?

At the council’s Wednesday, Aug. 16 meeting, Jessica Ryan, the city attorney announced, “The city council and the city administrator, Mr. Jared Hancock, in closed session, reached a mutual separation agreement. Mr. Hancock’s last day as city administrator will be Oct. 11, 2017. A press release will be issued soon, and the city council wishes to thank Mr. Hancock for his years of hard work on behalf of the city and for the city.”

On Friday, Aug. 18, the city council issued an unsigned statement on its letterhead that repeatedly praised Hancock for his service and many accomplishments during his tenure as city administrator. After reading this statement, one must wonder how and why the council and Hancock could decide the best course forward is to sever their relationship. What in the world could make the council agree to terminate its relationship with such a dedicated and perfect employee?

But even more curious than that was Hancock’s statement to the newspaper after we received the press release — that he and the council were still negotiating the terms of his separation.

It simply can’t be both ways. Did the Hancock and the city council reach an agreement during closed session on Wednesday, Aug. 16 as Ryan reported, or are Hancock and the city still negotiating? These two statements are mutually exclusive. They both can’t be true. Hancock and the council have reached an agreement or they have not.

This leaves the council’s constituents and the residents of the city Hancock has worked for so tirelessly for so long completely in the dark.

According to the rumors circulating through town — and they’re only rumors, but based upon comments from those who allegedly know — Hancock will remain in the city’s employ as a consultant for perhaps as long as a year — get this — because he’s the only one who knows the ins and outs of the many projects he’s working on.

It’s both unfortunate and telling if Hancock truly is the only person at city hall capable of moving these projects forward.

What possible reason would the city council have for withholding the facts of these negotiations from city residents who surely will find out all about it sooner or later?

Our city leaders need to level with us and tell us exactly what’s going on with the city administrator.

One thought on “It’s time for some transparency from the city council

  • Mr. Hancock was not dedicated and very far from perfect as this opinion states. The City has been in need of innovative, educated and committed administrative leadership for some time. Leadership that truly cares for its employees and the citizens of Susanville. Brighter future awaits.

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