Framingham Mayor Spicer: My Staff Deserves An Apology

FRAMINGHAM – Mayor Yvonne Spicer sent a letter to the City Council expressing her “deep concern” by the behavior of some members of the City Council towards her staff on November 12.

During the Thursday, November 7 City Council meeting several City Councilors complained about the lack of customer service in the Framingham Mayor’s office.

“The attacks on my office staff were reprehensible. Even to the point of calling out, specific employees was uncalled for. If you had a specific concern about anything that my staff has done or hasn’t done I would have appreciated a personal conversation as opposed to a public tongue lashing of municipal employees,” wrote the mayor.

“As for being responsive to requests, many of the comments that were made are disingenuous. There is documented evidence of departments being quite responsive to City Councilors requests for information and resources,” said the mayor in her letter.

The Mayor accused Councilors of trying to direct staff.

“To have a councilor make a public statement that, “staff is encouraged not to be cooperative” is deceptive and wrong,” wrote the Mayor.

District 8 Councilor Judith Grove raised concerns about a lack of response to the plastic bag ordinance at the Thursday City Council meeting to the Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer III during his report from the mayor to the City Council.

“We finished in June and it’s been in the Mayor’s office to be referred to Council. If we do not get a referral, we’re going to be out of office before we can even do it,” said Grove on Thursday night.

Councilor Grove said she sought public information from the Mayor’s office via a phone call. She was told the office was too busy to provide her with the information and told her to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

“I’m aware that her office is much more staffed than the former Town management,” said Grove. “So I’m surprised it’s so much more difficult to answer questions.”

“To publicly shame employees is neither helpful nor professional and it contributes to a toxic work environment. Everyone that is employed in my office and throughout the city of Framingham strives to provide the greatest customer service to our community. I have personally observe staff handle very challenging situations, with grace and ease as well as have residents send letters thanking them for their service. No one should work in an environment that is disrespectful, demeaning and condescending. It is incumbent upon us as elected leaders and employees of the city to conduct
ourselves with decorum and respect,” wrote the Mayor to the City Councilors.

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Editor’s Note: Source received a couple of copies of the memo to the City Councilors. Once a document goes to all 11 City Councilors it is a public document.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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