GarCo manager fired soon after contract renewal
In a surprise move, Garfield County commissioners Tuesday fired their longtime county manager, Ed Green.
The unanimous decision came after the commissioners had approved Green’s 2012 contract just before the end of the year.
“The last words I (previously) got from the commissioners were that I was doing a good job and that they wanted to make sure that I made it to retirement in that position,” Green, who turns 65 in 2014, said in a phone interview. “That was about a month ago.”
Green said he had no indication as of the start of Tuesday’s commissioner meeting that anything had changed, but commissioners took their action after a closed-door meeting with county attorney Andrew Gorgey.
“I was told that they were just exercising their option, and I asked them if there was a reason for it, and they said there’s no reason, they want to go in a different direction,” Green said.
He said his contract allowed commissioners to terminate him at any point as long as they exercise a severance provision. He said he was placed on administrative leave for a month, and then will receive six months of severance pay and also annual leave pay.
Green was to have earned more than $133,000 as county manager this year.
He had served as county manager for more than 13 years.
Gorgey has been named acting county manager through the end of February.
Green said at least part of the reason for the firing may have involved differences he and Commission Chairman John Martin were having over certain human-resource issues, about which he couldn’t elaborate.
Said Martin, “Nope, not at all. It’s not one thing, it’s not three things, it’s the direction the board wishes to take for the betterment of the county right now.”
He said no disciplinary actions or personality clashes were behind the commissioners’ decision.
Commissioners have been taking a more hands-on role in the county’s management, which Martin indicated may have played into its decision.
“It is a direction the board wishes to take,” he said.
Green also speculated others on the county’s leadership team may be fired as part of an organizational restructuring.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said he doesn’t’ think that’s the case, but he added, “We’ll look at our overall organization and what works best for the county.”