Lack of Trust Cost Ralph Dannenberg His Job

Last night, in a special meeting, the city council voted in a 4-3 vote to remove Ralph Dannenberg from his position as city manager. Mayor Rick Hansen, Deputy Mayor John Knutsen, Councilmember John Hopkins, and Councilmember Steve Vermillion voted to remove Mr. Dannenberg. Councilmembers Kent Boyle, John Palmer, and Tom Swanson voted against.

We would suggest you view the video of this meeting. You can view the video by clicking this link.

Mayor Hansen was joining the meeting over the telephone. As each councilmember shared their thinking you are able to see really how this whole process played out.

What is very interesting is how each councilmember viewed the situation. Councilmember Swanson, while stating he didn’t support the motion, played it straight down the middle with his comments. Councilmembers Vermillion, Hopkins, and Knutsen gave specific examples of issues they had with Mr. Dannenberg and how that led to their losing trust in him. Mayor Hansen, as he was over the phone, did not share any specific examples but indicated that he also had trust issues with the city manager.

What was most interesting were the comments by councilmembers Palmer and Boyle. They did not discuss the city manager and why they believed he should be kept, instead they focused on Mayor Hansen and how this action they were about to take was all because of his touching incident. They believed it best to put the blame on that and ignore the outright lies he told their fellow councilmembers. It would have been nice if they would have taken the time to explain what good qualities Ralph possessed and why they believed he should be retained. Instead they took that opportunity to pile on the mayor.

Here are a few quotes from councilmembers outlining some of the reasons for their vote:

Councilmember Vermillion: “I asked Mr. Dannenberg specifically what the touch constituted and he told me he(Hansen) grabbed her in the crotch.” ***Which we now know was completely false thanks to the city press release.***

“He violated trust.”

Councilmember Hopkins: “There were four of us, including someone who is not going to vote to terminate Mr. Dannenberg, that requested a budget meeting, and I followed all the rules as directed by Mr. Dannenberg, the way that he wanted it done. Lo and behold, it doesn’t get on the agenda.”

“What was happening was a deliberate stonewalling.”

Councilmember Knutsen: “Mr. Dannenberg lied to me on two occasions.”

“He continually made comments about the other councilmembers, degrading comments.”

View the video to get everyone’s complete thoughts on the situation.

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Filed under City Council 2012

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