Letter: City the loser in Malysz’s resignation

From: Tamara Kiel


On Nov. 6, The Republic ran a small article buried inside the paper regarding the city’s director of community development, Carl Malysz, reaching out to then-mayoral candidate Jim Lienhoop and expressing his desire to continue his good work for our community. The article indicates Lienhoop responded by saying due to going a different direction, his employment with the city will terminate Jan. 1. This termination declaration resulted in Malysz resigning in order to take a position elsewhere.

Malysz, having been told he was being let go, remained the consummate professional in addressing City Council regarding his departure. In return, not one single City Council member had the dignity to muster “thank you for your service” to him. Watch the video.

Why isn’t his termination receiving the same 3-inch front-page headline outrage as did former park director Ben Wagner’s demotion, a demotion that Wagner accepted? For that chosen employee, Lienhoop led the City Council to zero out the parks director pay, blocking the mayor’s ability to do her job in hiring someone new. He then used taxpayer money to hire an attorney for employee Wagner. Where is the equitable newspaper coverage and equal employee treatment?

Malysz is a huge loss to the city. He is an experienced community development specialist who was able to find alternative funding methods for critical projects through grants, which saved local taxpayers millions. That’s invaluable. I wait anxiously to see who the new administration has decided will be a better direction than Malysz.

Ironically, the same day as the news of his departure, the editorial was a diatribe chastising the Brown administration for not reaching out to Lienhoop. Expecting this when earlier in the week it had reported Lienhoop as having said he “has spent much of the past four months selecting people to fill about 30 positions within various city departments and committees” is complete lunacy.

Candidate Lienhoop, before the Nov. 3 general election, began sending his transition team, not himself, into City Hall to inform hardworking people devoted to their jobs and wishing to continue, that they are out the door before he ever gave them a chance. Imagine the atmosphere he has created. Remember how hard he campaigned on the deceptive, false and misleading indication of 100 percent turnover and “dysfunction” at City Hall? The irony of what he is doing now is painful to me.

And so that is the dynamic in which The Republic’s editorial has the audacity to suggest, nay, demand the current administration welcome the new.

If Lienhoop genuinely desired a smooth transition, he would at least pretend to work amicably, I mean “collaboratively,” with the city employees and wouldn’t have sent such valuable people packing before he remembered to ask them for their computer passwords.

Sounds like we get to watch the hypocritical shrapnel fly in December.