The recent decision by five members of the Lewiston City Council, with the support of the mayor, to terminate the city administrator was an irresponsible action. The public had no prior knowledge that the termination was being discussed and were not given any opportunity to speak on the issue.

The manner in which Jim Bennett was told to leave was not done in the way Lewiston should be doing business. The action has lowered morale of city employees, and Lewiston’s public image has been damaged.

I did not always agree with Bennett, but members of the city council are the ones who actually vote and adopt policy.

I thank councilors Nelson and Thomas Peters for voting not to terminate the city administrator.

Anyone who has attended or watched the televised meetings of the council has observed several councilors and the mayor showing a lack of respect and civility toward each other and the former city administrator.

The role of the city council is not to micromanage city departments.

The voters in November have the opportunity to decide which elected officials will have their contracts renewed.

Barry Putnam, Lewiston

Editor’s Note: The author is a former city councilor in Lewiston.

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