Frank Murphy – Letter to the Daily News re Freedom of Information request on circumstance of Jerry Berry’s departure

It took a Freedom of Information petition but the Daily News has established that, contrary to Mayor Ruttan’s assertion, City Manager Jerry Berry’s departure was anything but amicable. The Mayor would have known that eventually the details unearthed through the FOI would become public. His insistence, the truth notwithstanding, that all was friendly and the result of mutal agreement is puzzling. Details yet to be made public but presumably to be at some point, include whether our City Hall gave Mr Berry this generous severance when there was no binding legal obligation to do so.
There was also the Mayor’s fallback version: what was actually going on was an aggressive, well thought out cost-cutting initiative. I notice the Daily News has much enthusiasm for this version in your “City Reduces Senior Staff Budget by 5%” story in your Saturday edition. I didn’t see any reference though to the objective analysis revealing, not surprisingly, duplications and inefficiencies in our large city bureaucracy on which these decisions are being made.
As cities large and small across the country cope with an historic economic crisis by freezing hiring and salaries and chopping budgets, the Daily News has declared quite inaccurately our City Hall here in Nanaimo to be “frugal”.
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