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Former city manager speaks out
A few days before council fired Tim Hansley as city manager, Hansley said he heard rumblings that the elected officials disagreed with the way he ran Pickerington.
Still, he said he was taken by surprise when Mayor Mitch O'Brien and the majority of council dismissed him during an Oct. 20 executive council session.
Those who voted to fire Hansley were Michael Sabatino, Tricia Sanders, Brian Sauer and Brian Wisniewski.
Those who voted against firing Hansley were Jeff Fix, Cristie Hammond and Keith Smith.
Hansley said the move was "kind of odd" for a council that prides itself on community input.
His dismissal took place in executive session, which the press and public by law may not attend, Hansley said.
"Why move so quickly?' Hansley said. "I wasn't charged with stealing."
Sabatino said Hansley was fired regarding a "philosophical difference" with council.
The issues were raised at an executive session four weeks prior to Hansley's dismissal, Sabatino said.
Hansley said the "philosophical difference" was that he defended city staff that the council wanted disciplined or fired.
"Now that they are rid of me, they can do what they want to do," Hansley said.
Hammond said she agreed that the process was rushed.
"You can't automatically change how a job is done overnight," Hammond said. "You need time to train (the staff) another way."
Hammond said the city charter prohibits the council from controlling city staff.
The city manager makes staffing decisions and the mayor hires the city manager, Hammond said.
"I'm certainly not planning to do away with people," Hammond said.
At 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at 8 pm, council will meet to approve Police Chief Michael Taylor as interim city manager, according to a news release from the city of Pickerington.
Taylor has handled the job in the past when Hansley has been on vacation, Sabatino said.
The city has begun the process of hiring a new manager, Fix said.
Hansley served as city manager for 18 months and served as development director before that.
Hansley said he is currently "looking for new opportunities and would love to stay in Pickerington."
Hammond said Hansley will be missed.
"I have great admiration for him and personally think it is a loss to the city," Hammond said.
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