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May 19, 2013

Mayor outlines reason for Alexander termination

GREENVILLE — Greenville Mayor Steve Reid has presented his case for the firing of former city manager Steven Alexander. In short, Reid claimed Alexander did not get along with some of the city’s biggest businesses.

Reid provided the Herald-Banner with a guest open letter, which is running on the opinion page (A6) of today’s edition. Reid said the move to terminate Alexander’s contract “was not a decision made hastily nor without careful weighing of the far-reaching implications for our community.”

The City Council voted 5-2 last Tuesday night to terminate Alexander’s contract. The vote came at the end of an emotional meeting which lasted more than four hours and during which dozens of people spoke out, many of whom asked the Council to keep Alexander.

But in his letter, Reid referred to the loss of the Newell-Rubbermaid plant and a decision by L-3 to move $35 million of business personal property to other locations in the United States.

“In my view, Mr. Alexander did not demonstrate a sound and prudent working relationship with our largest taxpayers which placed many jobs at risk,” Alexander said. “His continued employment became a hindrance to future growth and ongoing positive relations within the business community.”

The Council is scheduled to meet in a special session Monday evening to appoint an interim city manager.

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