City government’s layoffs are shameful

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 18, 2019

To the Editor,

May 12 through May 18 is National Police Week and May 15 is Police Officers Memorial Day. As the wife of a career law enforcement officer, these dates hold special meaning to me. As a nation, these dates represent a time for citizens to honor and respect the men and women of law enforcement, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting others.

With that being said, let me tell you how Franklin City Government shows their appreciation to someone who has dedicated a large portion of their life to the service of the citizens of Franklin. I speak specifically about my husband. Captain Tim Whitt. We came to Franklin in November 1994 when Tim joined the police department. For the past 24-1/2 years he has served this city faithfully. My husband has arrested violent offenders, taken quantities of drugs and weapons off the streets, investigated countless atrocious crimes, dealt with violent situations and made numerous other contributions during his service, many of which he received special recognition for and yes, he has been injured in the line of duty several times as well. He has also been a leader and mentor to others within the department.

In April, Tim was summoned to the city manager’s office where he was told that due to budget issues and the resulting directions from city council for more cuts, his job position was being eliminated as of June 30. Tim has worked his way through the ranks over the years to become a captain. Nothing was given to him, he earned it all. Within a matter of minutes, it was all taken from him. And why? Because of the incompetence of city government. They allowed the former city manager to continue with the unsustainable practice of using city funds to balance the budget and in doing so, created a financial crisis by their own hand.

They feign ignorance, but they know exactly how it happened, they were the ones who voted on and approved the budgets each year. Tim isn’t the only one to lose his job, other city employees lost theirs also. So, what is the message sent to employees of the city … we place no value on you or the job you do, we hold no loyalty to you, but expect it from you. I would hope citizens will contact their council members and the mayor and demand answers as to why employees are being penalized due to the incompetence of supposed city leaders.

The mayor and each member of council should resign their positions immediately and hang their heads in shame. They have done a great injustice and need to be held accountable.

I am grateful that my husband has survived his career as a police officer and can retire knowing that he did his best for Franklin. It is a shame that Franklin cannot say it did the same for him.

Cathy Whitt