The future of City Clerk Tammy Bursick was up for ‘discussion’ at yesterday’s City Council meeting. But Councilman Zudans had already asked Bursick if she wanted to retire or resign. She was shocked and upset at that suggestion. So was the community as a whole. Bursick is only second to Mother Theresa in her popularity with City constituents.
So at yesterday’s Council meeting, Chambers were packed with citizens to show their support for her and anger toward Zudans. At one point,
Councilman Tony Young, normally cool, calm and collected from his 30 years in the military, expressed outrage at the suggestion Bursick could be “court-martialed for a reprimand.” He went on to add that the action requesting a ‘no confidence’ against Ms. Bursick is “a horrible precedent” and “reprehensible.” He ended by saying, “If I were to vote on the issue of confidence today I would vote that I lost confidence, not in Tammy Bursick, but another council member.”
With that nearly all citizens present stood and applauded.
No action was taken on Bursick, which had been positioned as “a discussion.” But was it really just a discussion? Somehow Zudans’ requests for a discussion on several topics this year ended up with – surprise – calling for a vote.
For instance at the May 15 City Council meeting, Zudans placed a “discussion” item on the agenda regarding the idea of leasing River House to a brewery. He later admitted his intention was to call for a vote.
Then at the August 21 Council meeting, City Manager Jim O’Connor put on the agenda a proposed lease of the City Marina, supposedly for “discussion purposes only.” O’Connor had most likely pursued a leasing arrangement at the request of Zudans, since Zudans advocated for a decision at that meeting.
Now here we are at the December 11 Council meeting, with Zudans’ “discussion” of Bursick. Apparently before the meeting, Zudans had asked the Legal Department to prepare a termination letter and they refused. Clearly, his objective was to call for a vote of no confidence by Council, then termination would be approved.
But the other Council members read different tea leaves, and possibly, took note of the audience mood. Councilman Laura Moss stated outright that the election snafu was not in any way Bursick’s fault, but she was ready to pin the blame on Linda Hillman, her once and future opponent in that election. Councilman Lange Sykes had to remind her that although she was against settling with Hillman (as was Zudans), Council approved that settlement and we should move forward.
So we can only hope Zudans’ effort to “punish” Bursick for her supposed role in the election issue died at that meeting. Knowing Bursick, she will continue to be just as friendly and accommodating to Zudans as if this never happened. Because that is the kind of admirable human being she is.
Just be wary of any further items that Zudans puts forth on future agendas for “discussion.”