Open Forum: Well running dry?

Posted: February 21, 2013

I am very concerned with the hiring of Douglas Hewett as the assistant city manager. According to an article published in the Miami Herald, Mayor Peter Bober of Hollywood, Fla., asked for Mr. Hewett’s resignation as city manager. Mr. Hewett did resign his position after the mayor and city commissioners said they couldn’t trust him and questioned his judgment following a DUI arrest.

Our present city manager said he felt Mr. Hewett deserved a second chance. The first offense for Mr. Hewett was receiving the DUI. His second offense came when he related only part of the facts about his DUI to Mayor Bober and the commissioners. According to an article in the Miami Herald, Mayor Bober said his decision to ask for Hewett’s resignation was not based on the DUI itself, but how he handled it afterward.

With more than 200 applicants, I question if Mr. Hewett was the best selection for the residents of Winchester. I would not feel comfortable with Mr. Hewett’s decision-making concerning issues for the city when he couldn’t be forthcoming on his own issues.

I am sure Mr. Hewett signed a contract with his former employer and it covered all his responsibilities. When we fail to maintain the high standards required of our position, then we must pay the price of not fulfilling those obligations.

It seems to me, as stated by M.R. Heath (Open Forum, Feb. 14) that Mr. Hewett is focused on what the city has to offer and not on what he could offer the city.

The total interview process was a waste of taxpayers’ funds, since the final selection would be made by the city manager. I guess this is like other issues the city has faced. Milt McInturff (City Councilman) made a statement to the effect we don’t have all the facts.

I think instead of hiring an assistant city manager these monies could have been used for raises to employees, maintenance of streets and sidewalks, etc. I know the issue at hand will be to raise taxes so the city can once again fulfill its wish list, but you know the well is running dry. More and more people are losing their jobs.

There comes a time when all of us must tighten the purse strings. I believe that time has come.

P.V. McDonald is a resident of Winchester.