Greenfield City Council asking mayor to resign

Franklin County

Greenfield City Councilors are asking the mayor to step down.

City Councilors say Mayor William Martin should resign after accusations of bullying. The Greenfield City Council voted Thursday night for Mayor Martin to step down from office.

The vote was unanimous.

It happened after an emergency meeting to discuss the recent firing of the town’s finance director. The recommendation was part of a “no confidence” vote after numerous accusations of bullying.

“We did this because once and for all we got to send this people and town employees and others who are being bullied a message that we support you, we’re doing everything we can,” said Karen Renaud, president of the Greenfield City Council.

The reason for the firing is still unclear, but Renaud said this isn’t the first time Mayor Martin has been accused of bullying.

“There have been complaints by not only other town employees but at the meeting the other night, a member of the human rights commission spoke about being bullied by the mayor, so, at a certain point you have to ask yourself, are you going to sit there and let this happen or are you going to say something,”said Renaud.

22News tried to get an interview with Mayor Martin Tuesday, but he was unavailable.

He did send a statement to 22News saying he has been devoted to serving the community for decades and plans to continue serving for the remainder of his term. (Full statement below)

As a lifelong resident of Greenfield, I have been devoted to serving the community for decades. I’ve served as Mayor for nine years and plan to continue for the remainder of my term.

Per the Charter (2-3d), the role of the Mayor is to “supervise, direct and be responsible for the efficient administration of all Town activities and functions placed under the control of the Mayor by general law, by this Charter, by ordinance or otherwise.” As the “CEO” for a complex organization with over 500 full-time, part-time, and temporary employees, it is my job to manage the functions of Greenfield.

The Charter is very clear in giving the responsibility of personnel matters to the Mayor – see Charter (3-4a), “The decision of the Mayor in suspending or removing a Town officer or a department head shall be final, it being the intention of this provision to vest all authority and to fix all responsibility for such suspension or removal solely in the Mayor.”

Personnel matters are rarely simple and cannot be shared in a sound bite or in an executive session discussion. The Council could not be provided enough knowledge, details, or information to make an informed management decision.

The Council’s resolution to order the Mayor to reinstate a terminated employee is both outside the Charter and this may set a precedent that personnel issues will be adjudicated before the Council. As the Mayor, it is my responsibility to ensure that professional standards are upheld across the organization.

There is not much the city council can do to fire Mayor Martin, but they can ask for a town vote.

Mayor Martin’s term is up in 2020.

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