Returning to the question I ended with last week, was Trafford Hall really fired by council?
But first an observation.
I’m struck by the date of the letter of employment I mentioned last week – June 8, 2007.
As I understand it, that letter increased the “without cause” severance to two years.
Which poses the question “Why?”
Here’s my theory.
When city council decided to go after then-Alcan over power sales, it made Hall the point man on the issue, the one who made presentations at town hall meetings and the go-to guy for the media.
That high visibility position was all very well when the community was overwhelmingly behind city council – which, although some will try to rewrite history, it was.
But it became a huge liability for Hall when everything went South in the courts.
He became the lightning rod for the anger of those who had, from the beginning, opposed the law suits and even original supporters who thought that going to appeal was a waste of money.
That Hall had simply followed council’s instructions throughout mattered not.
In June 2007 it was already known that mayor Rick Wozney would not be seeking re-election. And there was a conviction that a hurricane of change was going to hit council at the 2008 municipal elections – which could translate into a new council hell bent on getting rid of Hall.
Which leads me to suspect the size of Hall’s parachute was slightly as a thank-you to a faithful servant of the municipality.
Of course, I stand to be corrected.
But back to the main question, was he really terminated “without cause”.
Again, let’s look at dates.
Hall signed the general release of all claims against the city in exchange for the two year’s severance on February 4.
The mayor announced Hall’s impending departure at a council meeting three days later.
Six weeks later, on March 16, the Vernon Morning Star broke the story that the North Okanagan regional district was about to announce that Hall was being hired as its new administrator.
That story also mentioned that the job was
first advertised in August of last year.
So here is what we are being asked to believe in order to accept the terminated without cause scenario.
Firstly, that council decided to fire Hall but he generously offered to stay on an extra couple of months to shepherd council through the 2011 budget process.
Secondly, that Hall had no idea of the existence of the North Okanagan vacancy prior to signing the release paperwork on February 4.
I, and likely a lot of readers, will take some convincing on both counts.