There is an old saying that silence is golden. That is until silence starts taking over government.
Such appears to be the case in the City of Gladstone these days. Since Tuesday's announcement of the resignation of City Manager Mike Wiesner, not much is being said.
The only thing we know is there was an evaluation of Wiesner at Monday's meeting. After that meeting, some time overnight and into the morning hours of Tuesday, Wiesner called it quits just 10 months into his first year.
One has to wonder what was said during the evaluation that would spur such a reaction. We already know from past evaluations Wiesner was cited as being a good figures man, but poor in communication. If that is what spurred the resignation, say it and move on. Instead, Mayor Darin Hunter and the commission have gone into silent mode which is not good for the city.
Wiesner would only say "It's been an experience working for Gladstone." Talk about a wide open statement. That does not sound good for the city. Hunter refuses to say anything. That is not good for the city either. However, to top it all off, department heads and city commissioners also were informed to be quiet and direct any questions to the mayor who is not saying anything.
We understand the city is going through a difficult time, but all this silence is raising more questions than what is necessary. Now there is talk about possibly going to only a part-time city manager in the future. Our question is does that fit into the city's current charter? If not, there needs to be an election to change the charter.
With a part-time manager, that would make handling city affairs pretty difficult. The city manager is like a CEO of a company and the city is the company. Could you see a multi-million dollar company run with only a part-time CEO? We don't think so. The people and workers of Gladstone deserve better.
We know these are just discussions, but this is not a good step. Also, with the city facing the financial problems, those do not go away because the city manager has resigned.
These are serious times for the City of Gladstone and serious action needs to be taken. However, the residents of Gladstone should be kept informed of what actions are needed. A part-time commission cannot solve these budget problems. Someone with a solid city management experience is needed.
We hope the Gladstone Commission can come up with some answers, but hiding in the shadows of silence is only going to make the situation worse.