Dolter holds no grudge with council’s decision to turf him

Gary
Gary Kean
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Mayor Charles Pender is seen during Monday’s council meeting. Corner Brook’s city council officially fired its chief administrative officer, Mike Dolter, at that public meeting.

Mike Dolter says he bears no ill will and has no regrets about his more than nine years as the City of Corner Brook’s chief administrative officer, a job he was terminated from by a vote of city council Monday.

Dolter took over the job Jan. 31, 2005, but was placed an administrative leave May 30, of this year.

At a privileged meeting of city council Monday, it was decided to permanently terminate Dolter from the position. Council announced its decision at a public meeting later Monday evening.

Reached by phone after the meeting, Dolter said he plans to focus on the positive side of the situation.

“I really enjoyed my time with the city,” he said. “I worked with some fantastic staff who made things easy for me and I have worked with some great community partners. I think, over the nine years I was there, we were able to get a lot of positive things done.”

City council said it was relieving Dolter of his duties “on a without cause basis” and that council believes fresh leadership is required now to take Corner Brook in a new direction.

Dolter said he had no direct discussions with council about this new direction.

He also has no concerns about the legal process the city followed in taking the steps to remove him as CAO.

“Ill will doesn’t get anybody anywhere,” he said of his feelings about how the situation unfolded. “Decisions are made for different reasons. I’m sure I’ve made decisions in the past that people haven’t necessarily liked. I can’t fault anybody for making a decision if they had to make one. All I can do is accept it and move forward.”

Dolter acknowledged the past two weeks have been difficult, but said the support of his wife, kids and close friends has helped him come to terms with the city’s decision.

“Anytime something like this happens, it causes angst, but we’re a strong family and we’ve been dealing with it together,” he said. “We will work things through as a family.”

Dolter said he and his wife, Bev, hope to stay in Corner Brook, but he doesn’t know how realistic that will be in terms of finding new work.

“I would love to stay here, but I am not closing the door on any opportunities,” he said.

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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  • Observer
    June 10, 2014 - 21:05

    So it begins. I think BillW nailed it. I expect before too long we will hear that Council has decided to mirror itself after St. John's and have the Mayor's role a full time paid position which appears to be where the current mayor sees himself. This way he will be the head of council and management and thereby be in control of it all. IF this is where its going I'm not sure this is a decision that council should make on its own or whether it should or must get community support for and perhaps Prov Govt support. But perhaps what others think really doesn't matter. In any case I thank Mr Dolter for his work and commitment to the City in a very difficult situation where his boss changed every 4 years.

  • shaking his head
    June 10, 2014 - 12:12

    Good ridence !

  • BillW
    June 10, 2014 - 11:05

    It is also possible the position will not be filled until the mayor retires from his current professional position and takes on the extra duties of city manager ...a la...Dennis O'keefe in St. John's....all for extra pay, of course!

  • Ex-Corner Brooker
    June 10, 2014 - 09:05

    Attitude is everything and yours speaks volumes. You did the best job you could with what you had. Being part of Municipal politics is no easy feat. Another door is waiting for you; don't look back! Good Luck Mike & Thank You!

  • Donna
    June 10, 2014 - 09:00

    But 2cents they accepted me twice.

    • 2cents
      June 10, 2014 - 18:36

      Yes, and then they got to know you and rejected you twice.

  • Donna
    June 10, 2014 - 08:47

    Thank you Mike for your 9 years of service to Corner Brook. You were very professional to work with and had the best interest of our city at heart. I wish you well in what ever comes next in your life.

  • 2cents
    June 10, 2014 - 06:33

    I suspect the payout Dolter receives will be offset by having the position vacant for a while - no net cost to tax payers. Hopefully when the position is filled it will be scaled down to something appropriate for a town this size, saving taxpayers even more. I respect the dignity with which Mr. Dolter has accepted this news. Too bad the same can't be said of the former Deputy Mayor and her bitter tweets. Does she not realize her "nothing wrong here, keep the status quo", I know better then you attitude, and constant negativity is the reason voters in this City have rejected her twice - both Provincial and Municipal election?

  • Sandra
    June 10, 2014 - 06:04

    It's no secret, inside or outside City Hall that there has been an intense power stuggle going on since the day the new council was elected last fall. It was also no surprise to anyone who worked there that this environment would exist, since it is clearly a carry-over from the last time Charles Pender was mayor. For anyone who knows anything this was never a case of IF Mike Dolter got fired, but WHEN. Does everyone at the City approve of Mike's methods? No, but that doesn't mean he didn't have the best interests of Corner Brook at heart when he made his decisions. Good on Mike for not slamming the City publicly, but you can bet that, among the people out there who might be qualified to replace him there will be some sober second thought before anyone decides to apply for the job. And good luck finding a person who will put their heart and soul into it the way Mike Dolter did.

  • Bill
    June 10, 2014 - 05:46

    I guess the payout Dolter will receive goes a long way in erasing any ill feelings/

    • Sandra
      June 10, 2014 - 06:13

      And why shouldn't he get a reasonable severance after 9 years of service to the City of Corner Brook? This is not a 9-5, 5-days a week job. It comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility, and requires many long hours and a high level of education. You don't attract somoene with the appropriate qualifications to a job like this without providing a considerable remuneration package, that includes a substantial severance package. This is not a union job that earns overtime for every 5 minutes you work past your scheduled shift. Mr. Dolter has devoted a considerable amount of time to a very demanding and probably high stress job. He spent countless hours beyond the 9-5 working on behalf of the City, attending meetings, sitting on committees and contributing in other way tot the city in general, and has been a tireless advocate for Corner Brook. While he may have had a 'difference of philosophy' with the current council, that doesn't mean he didn't have the City's best interests at heart for the last 9 years.

    • Bill
      June 10, 2014 - 07:45

      Sandra, Mr. Dolter was well paid for the services he rendered. A generous severance package after nine years? We should all be so lucky.

    • Sandra
      June 10, 2014 - 11:23

      Bill, Whatever severance Mr. Dolter received would have been part of his contract with the city, which was negotiated and agreed to by the council of the day. That council included the current mayor. Did he receive a generous salary? By some standards, perhaps. But I think most would be surprised to find out that he earned much less than his counterparts in other, similar-sized cities. He could easily have worked for a municipality in Alberta and made much more than he did here, but he chose Corner Brook because he loves this city and wanted the best for it. I believe he earned every cent of his severance.