Thursday February 07, 2013
A string of recent decisions that began with an announcement that City Manager Sandy Miller had been put on administrative leave on Monday, January 28th, ended with his termination approximately one week later. The seemingly sudden turn of events culminated in a unanimous City Council decision on Monday night to officially fire him “without cause.” Council Chair Rosanne Greco read directly from the portion of his contract which stated that the Council has the authority to fire their City Manager at any time “with or without cause.” Since Miller is being let go “without cause,” he will receive a severance of $117,500; the equivalent of his annual salary upon termination.
After the decision was rendered, Greco invited comments from Councilors and subsequently the public. Given the nature of the termination, Councilors did not add comment with the exception of Pam Mackenzie, who expressed that while she agreed with the Councilors in making the decision, she believed it could have been done in a more “planful way.”
Questions from the public primarily concerned the reasoning behind the action. Resident Mike Simoneau was curious to know if there was a driving force or forces which led to the series of actions proceeding so briskly. Aside from verifying Miller’s salary and the date on which he was put on administrative leave, Greco did not expand upon the subject further, stating that the issue at hand was a personnel matter. She said that an official statement would be issued on Tuesday morning that would likely shed light on the situation.
The City’s legal counsel was present to answer technical questions. Deputy City Manager Bob Rusten wanted to know how to proceed should any personnel matters or other issues arise before the Council holds their special meeting on February 6th at 4:30 p.m. to determine how they will move forward. In the interim, Bob Rusten will assume the role of acting city manager.
Sandy Miller accepted the offer of the position of City Manager of South Burlington March 15, 2010 and began working for South Burlington in July 2010. Prior to holding this position, Miller was the City Manager of Milton. Although, the length of his appointment was for an indefinite term, according to his contract, a provision existed which allowed the Council to terminate his employment with or without cause.
SOURCE:Corey Burdick, Correspondent