To the Editor:
The city of Keizer had a bad incident occur recently when the city manager, Chris Eppley, discharged a weapon in his office. The details of the incident have not been made public yet as the city contracted with an independent investigator to determine the facts. Once they are known, the council will have to make a decision as to what to do. The law is very clear that a firearm is not to be discharged within the city, let alone in city hall.
The city council should treat everyone the same way. If a subordinate did what the city manager did, they would be fired on the spot. The same should apply to him. He must be fired.
There are several things in Eppley’s favor:
Chris Eppley has been an outstanding city manager with integrity and he has been instrumental in guiding the city through several difficult times. He has made very few mistakes. Eppley worked on urban renewal, getting the new civic center built and Keizer Station completed. He has assembled an efficient staff and team to carry out city business. It would be a serious blunder, in my opinion, to totally lose a dedicated employee because he made a foolish (dumb) mistake.
My solution would be to hire him back after three months with a substantial reduction in salary and benefits. I think that would be just.
Bill Quinn, Keizer
Same rules for everyone
To the Editor:
In the matter regarding Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley, submitting my own letter to each councilor and speaking before council on March 15, it became quite apparent that this is being considered a popularity contest of sorts.
We are not here to discuss the personal or moral character of the Keizer city manager. We are not here to play favorites or accept faults as a friend might. We are here to discuss the fact that an employee of the city willfully broke rules by bringing a firearm into a city-owned building, resulting in an accidental discharge.
I may be ignorant to work policies in the public sector, but in the private sector, it often does not matter how well liked an employee is or how well they perform their job, if certain policies and ethical guidelines are not adhered to, there are consequences. Often those consequences lead to termination, regardless of job performance, likability, and other personal matters outside of the contract of employer and employee.
In my time, I have witnessed many a good person, top performer, and/or well-liked employee make an egregious mistake or ethical mishap. Guess what? They were not above the consequences of their actions. Despite all the great things about their character, the employer still made them beholden to the policies and ethical guidelines established.
Everyone should be held to the same standard. I am sick and tired of seeing rules apply to most but not some. It is not right. It is not equitable. If the city will allow this, what else will they allow? Are others now able to carry a firearm on city property? If the firearm accidentally discharged, they should suffer no consequences, correct? No? Hmm.
Alicia Itzaina, Keizer
To the Editor:
To no ones surprise, the Chris Eppley firearm fiasco has turned into a political fire fight. The indignant left calls for Eppley’s dismissal. The arrogant right says, “no harm, no foul.” In between somewhere is the appropriate penalty for the “accidental” discharge of a deadly weapon in an occupied public building.
In my opinion, Eppley is no longer qualified to have a concealed carry permit, and had he been other than a high ranking public official that license would already have been revoked. But, that’s only my opinion and the investigator will have to determine if Eppley’s “distracted while gunsmithing” plea let’s him off the hook.
Finally, and again only my opinion, there must be a consequences for what could have been a deadly lack of attention. Dismissal is probably too much, “extreme sorrow” is certainly not enough.
Martin Doerfler, Keizer