Setting The Record Straight

Image: Mayor Frank Jackson — The honorable Mayor Frank Jackson stands in the Italy City Councils’ Chambers.

Mayor Frank Jackson — The honorable Mayor Frank Jackson stands in the Italy City Councils’ Chambers. (Submitted)

In a recent discussion, Italy Mayor Frank Jackson is asked if he could set the record straight on the Chris Metz firing.

The Mayor graciously made these comments on the matter, “I never enjoy firing anyone, but Mr. Metz no longer had the City of Italy’s best interest at heart. In the month of October, the city’s water usage totaled approximately 1,000,000 gallons. In the month of December, that total had risen to 2,405.624 gallons. That meant a 34% water waste problem that needed to be handled. I had a meeting with my department heads and explained to Mr. Metz, since there was so many leaks around the city all at one time, that we would give him the manpower to assist him in dealing with these issues in a timely manner. However, Mr. Metz seemed to be avoiding the city’s problems by demanding more time off.”

The Mayor went on to say, “As Mayor, I allow all my employees to put their families needs first. Department heads are hired on with the understanding that they must be available to the best of their ability 24/7. And there is no comp time allocated for salary employees. Whether or not a salary employee gets paid for missing a day of work is at my discretion. With that in mind, Mr. Metz had been allowed three paid days off during the previous two weeks before the department heads’ meeting. And the day following the meeting, in which it was made clear to Mr. Metz he needed to handle the water leakage issues within the city immediately, he demanded another day off.”

After a moment of pause, the Mayor added, “I really wanted Chris to work out. I tried to give him every opportunity to be successful in the Director of Public Works position. Like I said, it hurts me to release an employee. However, Chris was already serving an extended probation after his initial 90 day probational period. Also, we provided Chris a vehicle including gas but he was unwilling to make himself available after hours when we needed him. It forced me to make a decision and I released Chris so we could start moving forward.”

Since the firing of Metz, the city has appointed Brad Chambers to be in charge of the public works while applications are being accepted. Training opportunities will be available for Mr. Chambers to better assist him during this transition. This will help ensure the City of Italy’s public works concerns are being properly monitored and maintained.