A Dark Time for Addison: City Manager Lea Dunn Forced to Resign

A Dark Time for Addison:
City Manager Lea Dunn Forced to Resign

Immediately upon emerging from an executive session apparently discussing her performance, the Addison City Council voted 5-2 to accept Lea Dunn’s offer to resign last night, March 24, 2015. Her resignation is effective immediately.

As noted by the City Attorney on the record at the meeting, Ms. Dunn had specifically requested that any evaluation of her occur in public. Nonetheless, the Council went immediately into executive session regarding the matter. When they came out of executive session, Mayor Todd Meier made a motion to accept Lea Dunn’s offer to resign. With discussion only from those opposed, Meier and his usual supporters quickly ended Lea Dunn’s service to Addison with a 5-2 vote. It seems relatively clear that the requested evaluation occurred behind closed doors, rather than in public as Ms. Dunn had requested.

It has been no secret to anyone that Meier never wanted Lea Dunn to be Addison’s City Manager, despite the work of prior Councils to provide for a succession plan involving Ms. Dunn, who had worked under prior City Manager Ron Whitehead for 17 years. It took ten Council meetings over a period of many months to retain Lea Dunn. During those ten meetings, Meier tried to block her appointment in every way imaginable, even joining in a claim that a Council meeting was not properly noticed, three plus hours into the meeting and only after his vote to conduct an expensive, nationwide search failed. The lack of support for Lea Dunn from Meier and his cohorts on the Council has been palpable.

Even in forcing Ms. Dunn’s resignation, Meier and his supporters on the Council avoided public scrutiny and conducted their business behind closed doors. The Agenda item gave no clue of the Council’s true intent. It read: “Closed (Executive) Session of the Addison City Council in accordance with Texas Government Code, Section 551.074 (Personnel) – City Manager.” There was no other Agenda item regarding the possibility that the Council would take action or a vote on the City Manager’s offered resignation.

Meier’s brand of “leadership” has brought an appalling lack of transparency to the work of the Addison City Council. Forcing Lea Dunn’s resignation under the “cover of darkness” and without any Agenda item notifying citizens, is outrageous, but ever so typical of Meier. Even more concerning is the fact that Meier and his cohorts had just participated in a Town Hall meeting the night before this Council meeting, but wholly failed to inform the public of anything relating to Ms. Dunn’s tenure as City Manager.

Meier is essentially orchestrating the entire dismantling of the staff that made Addison a special place in which to live and work. With last night’s action, Meier completes his total demoralizing of the Town’s staff. Expect more resignations, folks. And fasten your seat belts, because Addison as you know it is disappearing at the hands of this dictatorial and vengeful mayor. It is only be a matter of time before we see a continuing diminishment in services, all the while taxes will increase (as they have already by more than 21% under Meier’s regimes.)

It is a sad, sad day for Addison.