Ford submits resignation letter

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By Alice Du Pont

Auburn Ford Jr., Midway city manager, submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor Jerrod Holton on Monday. “It is with mixed emotions, yet with firm conviction that I write this letter of resignation,” Ford wrote.

This is the body of the letter of resignation:

“My association over the past two and a half years with the City of Midway and its many wonderful people has been a significant part of my professional, as well as personal, life. Please know that I have made this decision to leave as your City Manager only after considerable deliberation and discussion with my family, and only because I feel that it is time for the city council to work with an individual they can truly support; I do not believe I am that person. it is not fair to the citizens of Midway to endure a dysfunctional government. Our city has been through a lot these past couple of weeks and now it’s time for the healing process to begin. It is my hope that the council can now begin to work as one for the greater good of the city.

“As you are aware I place myself in an unfortunate position by violating my probation through possession of a firearm. I take full responsibility for my actions in that regard. It was not appropriate however, for my young son to be held at gunpoint during the search of my home and eventual arrest.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘an unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make it binding on itself.’ I don’t think that there is a better quote to describe the obstacles that I faced and accepted in an effort to have our city grow and prosper.

“Today I challenge the Midway City Council to operate justly. Inconsistent use of the city charter is unjust and unethical. I challenge the council to govern by charter at all times, not when it is convenient or expedient to do so. It is my hope that moving forward, the council will stop:

• Interfering with the day-today operations

• Voting in council person who don’t reside in their district

• Disobeying judge’s direct orders

• Meeting outside of the Sunshine to discuss city business

“While I wasn’t a perfect city manager I was “just” in every action I took for the betterment and growth of the city. You as city council members devise the laws and govern the charter. Please now begin to do so ethically and fairly.

“I can’t tell you what an honor it has been to serve as the city manager of Midway. I am most proud of achieving the following accomplishments on behalf of the great citizens of this community: (1) authoring the grant to build a senior center and working with Councilwoman Robinson to get the award; (2) authoring and earning the fire station grant and the sewer grant for the mini-mall and (3) opening the door of opportunity for the future creation of a new charter school in Midway.

“Though the above-listed projects are still in development, I am proud to have played a small role in the completion of the city’s first municipal building built in the last 20 years. This is something our city must be proud of and celebrate. I’m now asking you to pick up this responsibility and work hard to make sure we get our school and senior center completed.

“Please thank my excellent and devoted staff for all of their hard work and dedication to this city and the council. I will miss them greatly and will forever remember all that we accomplished together.

“My resignation as the City of Midway’s city manager is hereby effective August 31, 2013. I am requesting that I am paid the already agreed upon back pay of $21,833.32 and my current cumulative annual leave and sick leave. I will be on annual leave effective immediately and until my last day of employment. In the interim I will work with you and the staff to affect an easy transfer of functions to other department member. The support and concern shown to me by you (Mayor Holton), Mayor Pro-Tem David Knight and other members of the council has been deeply appreciated. I leave the City of Midway with good memories and no animosity or ill will and wish you and your fellow councilmen continued success. Sincerely, Auburn Ford.”

The letter was copied to all of the council members and city attorney Henry Hunter.