Editor's note: Patch asked Shoreline City Manager Julie Underwood to respond to that former Shoreline Planning Director Joe Tovar sent to city employees on his final day of work with the city that criticized her for not supporting the planning department and city staff for not being truthful about the consequences of budget cuts to his department.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the recent posting by Mr. Tovar upon his release from City of Shoreline employment.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Tovar chose to send this misleading email at the last hour of his last day. Mr. Tovar’s public response to his own private personnel matter is not something we should expect from our city’s department directors – or any public professional. His inaccurate charges are not only harmful to the organization but to the City as well.
We are in challenging financial times. For the 2012 Budget, I had to make difficult decisions in alignment with Council priorities. Given our finite resources, the City had to reduce spending and staffing like many homes and businesses.
Mr. Tovar clearly could not support these decisions. Therefore, in the interest of continuing to move the City forward, last fall Mr. Tovar and I negotiated mutually acceptable terms for Mr. Tovar’s separation from employment.
Pursuant to our verbal agreement, I announced on October 18, 2011 that Mr. Tovar would be departing – and, out of consideration and trust, allowed that he would remain with the City through the first part of January 2012. I am confident my decision was in the best interest of Shoreline.
As we move forward, I want to reassure our citizens of the City’s commitment to serving Shoreline residents with the professionalism and excellence they have come to expect and deserve. We welcome constructive feedback offered in the best interests of our city. Difficult decisions – that are aligned with Council priorities – will continue to be made with careful judgment and compassion.
City of Shoreline