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Beline Obeid

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Unfortunate firing

To the Editor:

I would like to commend the Grosse Pointe News for its March 18 Opinion column, “Bidigare’s firing shows lack of tact,” regarding the unfortunate firing of Grosse Pointe Woods City Administrator Ted Bidigare.

As you stated, it’s doubtful that when the residents of Grosse Pointe Woods elected three new council members in November they bargained for the kinds of recent changes that portray our city less than favorably.

Ted Bidigare is a military veteran and a man who served the city of Grosse Pointe Woods well for years as both a council member and as the city administrator.

It was cruel and extremely mean-spirited to unceremoniously dump Mr. Bidigare two months prior to his being eligible to receive the retirement package specified in his employment contract. Furthermore, the reasons cooked up for firing Mr. Bidigare seem flimsy at best.

Even if the time had come for a new city administrator, it remains a mystery as to why the four members of the city council could not simply wait a couple of months until his employment agreement expired. Their hasty action was cooked up on 24-hour notice to the mayor and other council members. It now has the potential for costing the city a considerable amount of money in litigation expenses and damages.

Since these four council members felt so strongly about the urgency of terminating Mr. Bidigare, perhaps they would like to reimburse the city for the costs associated with the lawsuit that could result from this incident.

This baseless firing will now make it much more difficult for the city to find a qualified individual for the administrator position. Who would want to interview for such a position with a city council that undermines the administrator’s authority by entertaining the whispers of a few disgruntled employees? Certainly it will be difficult to find a replacement as qualified and as cost effective as Ted Bidigare.

The council members who fired Mr. Bidigare believe that they were elected to make changes. How many more people will be hurt and how many more careers will be ruined as these people carry out their political agenda for change?

Perhaps the citizens of Grosse Pointe Woods should look into changing a few of the faces on this city council.

Philip Gaglio

Grosse Pointe Woods

Philip Gaglio
March 30, 2004

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