Fairhope mayor fires two longtime city employees

Petition circulated to remove Wilson from office

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 2/25/17

Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson terminated the employment of two longtime city employees Friday afternoon.

Gulf Coast Media has confirmed Wilson had fired Public Works Director Jennifer Fidler and …

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Fairhope mayor fires two longtime city employees

Petition circulated to remove Wilson from office

Posted

Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson terminated the employment of two longtime city employees Friday afternoon.

Gulf Coast Media has confirmed Wilson had fired Public Works Director Jennifer Fidler and Community Affairs Director Sherry Sullivan.

Both had worked for the city of Fairhope for over a decade and sources said neither was given a reason for their termination at the meeting where their firings took place.

Reactions in the community have been swift, and a petition has been started on Change.org asking Wilson and the Fairhope City Council for her resignation from her position as mayor.

The petition states:

“Since taking office in November of 2016, Mayor Wilson has proven she lacks the capacity to lead our dear city.  She has yet to present a 2017 budget; she pushed out a lifelong Fairhope resident and 10+ yr city employee from his job; she has fired two of this town's hardest working and most iconic employees; she has decided there will no longer be cost of living raises for employees and will begin making them pay some or all of their own insurance (this includes first responders and the men and women who work through the cold and especially through the heat to care for our city); she is creating overpaid positions for her friends and pushing out current employees to make room for more friends.

“She simply replaced a ‘good ole boys’ system for a ‘good ole Karin Wilson’ system. Same system, different group of people. She is trying to consolidate all power from the council which would make for a very dangerous and scary situation for our city.

“Please stand up and help save our dear city from her tyranny and torture.”

As of Saturday morning, the petition had gathered 105 signatures.

Former Fairhope Mayor Tim Kant took to social media to express his view on the firings. Kant had hired both Fidler and Sullivan into the positions they had held.

“I’ve been hoping that the transition of our new mayor and Council would be up a smooth transition,” Kant wrote. “The only reason I am on Facebook tonight it's because Jennifer Fidler and Sherry Sullivan have been the most dedicated employees to the citizens of Fairhope. And for the mayor to just outright fire both tonight it's just unbelievable. My prayers go out to the the city of Fairhope.”

Wilson said her response on the matter would be posted on her official Facebook page.

“Yesterday, I had to make the difficult yet necessary decision to let two department heads go,” Wilson wrote. “Like some of you, I am both hurt and upset. Nevertheless, my commitment to the city is stronger than ever and our talented team will continue to move our city forward.

“The level of transparency you have come to expect from this office will continue, in an effort to keep you engaged with matters that affect your pocketbook and quality of life. However, a response to sensitive matters regarding city employees – current or past – will not and cannot be discussed.”

Gulf Coast Media will post further updates as this story continues to develop.