Former mayors Carty Finkbeiner and Jack Ford, neither of whom distinguished themselves positively during their terms on the 22nd floor of Government Center, criticized current Mayor Mike Bell over his handling of issues in the Department of Neighborhoods.
According to both these politicians, the firings of Kattie Bond and Mike Badik are wrong - for some reason. You see, the two former mayors didn't have any problems with these two people when they employed them. They found them to be honest and good workers, with Finkbeiner going so far as to say he had "no knowledge" of any wrong-doings in the Dept. of Neighborhoods. So obviously, Bell must be wrong to fire them.
Of course, neither politician has the results of the investigation which is still on-going, so they can't possible know what Mayor Bell has found. They don't know any details; they don't know what facts Bell has found; and they don't know what, if any, evidence exists of mistakes or lack of oversight by these two employees. In fact, they know nothing. But that didn't stop them, just like when they were mayor, of forming an opinion and holding a press conference.
Finkbeiner had the temerity to tell Bell to "be a man" and take responsibility. Yes, this from a person who threw a coffee cup at a subordinate, left his dog in his hot car and has faced continued rumors of abuse of his wife.
Ford actually accused Bell of making these decisions to 'please The Blade,' the local daily newspaper. I had to get out the duct tape and wind it around my head so it wouldn't explode at that one.
Mayor Bell, acting responsibly, made himself available to the press following the Finkbeiner and Ford statements. In response to Finkbeiner's claim that he needed to 'man-up' said that's exactly what he was doing. He made decisions to change the direction the department was going; is holding people accountable for their actions; is not 'kicking the can down the road' but actually dealing with the situation in a timely and up-front manner and, despite taking such criticism, is standing by the decisions which he believes are right.
Talk about being a man.
For the record, I don't know any details of the investigation either and many people have said that Bond and Badick are honest individuals and highly trustworthy. Several people I know and trust said they don't believe these two did anything wrong.
I don't personally know Bond and Badik, but I do know Mike Bell and I know what it's like to oversee a large operation and to have no faith in the people you have in charge of a department. If these two knew what was going on and did nothing about it, their firing is justified. If they were in charge and didn't know what was going on, I'd have to question: why not?!?
Finkbeiner said Bell needed to take responsibility - but at the same time, he said that Bond and Badik needed to have no responsibility for what was going on under their watch. Talk about a double standard - but that's common from Finkbeiner.
In the end, Bond and Badik are at-will employees of the Mayor. Bell has decided to make a change in the leadership in that department. That is his prerogative, one his two predecessors routinely practiced - for much less valid reasons.