Mayor's Response to hiring aide
The Gainesville City Commission Meeting had no shortage of drama Thursday night.
Residents showed up to question how Mayor Craig Lowe's Assistant was hired and later promoted.
TV 20's Duke Carter reports ...Mayor Lowe after our report broke the news last night --- staunchly defended the hiring of Garrett Garner.
Before the meeting Mayor Lowe reacted to residents' concerns
He says its "political retribution" and its coming from opponents who say they are not pleased with the candidates Lowe supported in city elections.
But it was his response to citizens who spoke up during the meeting that made people angry.
"there must not be enough to complain about, things must be in good shape.
This is the scene at the city commission meeting after residents expressed their concerns about former Lowe Campaign Manager Garret Garner being Appointed "Mayoral Aide" without the job being advertised.
"what I'm seeing is a lot injustice instead."
"insiders should not be given preferential treatment it is wrong you need to do the right thing."
After hearing citizens comments the mayor says other mayors across the country have aides.
"they actually have a role in selecting the mayoral aid and is often not a competitive process its someone the mayor knew prior before being elected mayor."
Once Lowe finished, Commissioner Scherwin Henry Informed the mayor he needs to listen to residents.
"I don't think in essence you should kind of belittle the point."
There were more questions after it was pointed out that commissioners directed staff in this agenda in January 2011 to determine appropiate hiring practices.
In the agenda it says existing and newly created jobs would require a competitive process.
But in the human resorce policy adopted last May under 4-A "Temporary Professionals" " if the position is temporary and professional n nature, benefits may be necessary to attract and retain desired applicants. "
" In addition it may be necessary...to offer such benefits when a grand funds or requires them."
"and in staff coming up with the process they removed the competitive phrase out."
And Henry says we should have an open government.
"it is very incumbent upon us mr mayor to having open government."
"I think someone who is opposed to my policies would not make a good mayoral aid and this is political retribution, I supported candidates they did not support."
We asked the mayor about the hiring of his aide and he says the city attorney indicated this was legal.
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