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Eckert: Mayor Not 'Running Me Off'

The Powder Springs city manager says there are two reasons why he's exploring possibilities outside the city: One is personal, and one is political.

By Rick Eckert

There is a big difference between the “press” and “social media.” I have great respect and admiration for the press. But it amazes me how so-called “social media” can disguise itself as the “press” and surreptitiously incite individuals and/or groups by allowing the posting of false and inflammatory information under the “freedom of speech” clause of the Constitution.

That allows rumors and innuendo and false conclusions to run rampant and unchecked, and the outcome is unintended (or, actually more often, intended) consequences.

The pen truly is mightier than the sword, and the damage done by the pen and the tongue can truly kill someone, but often more visciously than a sword.

It is easy to kill someone’s reputation, destroy lives and careers, and annihilate a person’s self-esteem through words. Damage done by words lasts forever—a fatal wound by a sword is quick and merciful and very short-lived. Having said that, let me set the record straight about a topic that should not even be a topic of importance.

The accusation that is running rampant that the mayor of Powder Springs is somehow “running me off” is blatantly false. There are two reasons I am exploring possibilities outside of Powder Springs: One is personal, and one is political.

The personal reason is nobody’s business. The political reason is that in this mayoral election, there is a chance that I would be seeing a mayor elected who would be a person whom I had to terminate his employment for cause.

Professionally, ethically and morally, I could not work for a mayor under those conditions, even if I were asked to stay. No professional city manager would.

For the record, no one is “running me off.” I have not been asked or encouraged to leave by the mayor or council. In my position, ethically I cannot and will not endorse any candidate, and neither can I vote for any in this case, simply because I live outside the city limits.

However, I cannot and will not sit idly by when lies and half-truths are being told. For those pointing a finger at the mayor and making false accusations in this regard, remember that when you point a finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

And for those with the flash-mob mentality that seems to be the trend of social media, I would suggest that for any person running for election in any race—locally, statewide or nationally—you judge them by their merits and accomplishments, successes and failures, not rumors or unproven and speculative accusations.

It is a proven tactic that in politics, if you cannot defeat an opponent (elected or appointed) with facts, you attack their character and person. Facts can be proved; unfounded accusations against the mayor or anyone else cannot.

An informed public knows the difference. That is why the press is so important—it looks for the facts as accurately as possible and reports accordingly. Social media, well, it speaks for itself.

Flash mobs say it all, as England and Pennsylvania can attest. Maybe they should call it anti-social media, for it certainly causes anti-social behavior.

For honest people who have concerns about the innuendoes that are being expressed in the “social” media, I encourage you to check the facts—they are readily available.

Rick Eckert has been the city manager of Powder Springs since March 2010.

Oldtimer September 17, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Well said!
CIty Dweller September 17, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Wow - sounds like Eckert has a lot of faith in the ability of the mayor to keep her throne, I mean, position. Best of luck with the Jackson County thing...hopefully it will work out better than the other interviews you've had since working for the city.
Concern Citizen of Powder Springs September 17, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Have you Mr. Eckert thought for one moment, that you may be wrong and the former Police Chief was right? You were not here in 2007. I know for a fact the acting City Manager/Mayor was not organized and she tried to do two jobs at one time. Are you covering for her clerical error? I know you are in a hard place at this time. I feel for you. If the former Police Chief becomes your new boss I know he would treat you fairly, he was always fair to all his employees.
Lee September 17, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Professionally, ethically and morally? Three words used by a City Manager who within his first six months with Powder Springs was caught interviewing for a position with a city in Alaska. I'm not saying that going for an interview is a bad thing, at that point you had probably realized that the Mayor is an extreme micro-manager. However, according to certain city council members and the Mayor herself, you lied when confronted about the interview!! And continued to lie until shown the proof!! Why were you not fired immediatley Mr. Eckert? Is it because you hadn't completed the mission you were hired for, which was terminating the Police Chief? I find it upsetting to watch the council meetings begin in prayer when so many know what truly goes on behind the closed doors of City Hall. I recommend that the mayor and council read the 9th Commandment prior to ANY city meeting ( do not bear false witness against thy neighbor)....Remember you will be held accountable to the man upstairs for what you do on this earth! Good comeback though Eckert trying to save yourself from the wrath of Pat!
James September 18, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Lee, You beat me to the punch!! Another thing about Mr. Eckert, he said in the article above, "In my position, ethically I cannot and will not endorse any candidate,..." but he continued to say positive remarks about the mayor and negative jabs about the chief. If that is not an endorsement for the mayor, I don't know what is.
James September 18, 2011 at 02:15 AM
Oldtimer, Most lies are well said. But a lie is a lie and Mr. Eckert is a liar. Remember Mr. Eckerts own words, "...remember that when you point a finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at yourself." What a self fulfiling prophecy.
Bill September 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM
No one really needs to tell you anything, Mr. Eckert. You know how the mayor is, why you choose not to admit it is between you and god. I think you would have loved to hear her words when she found out about your interview in Alaska, since you clearly choose to take her side.
Gayle Grantham September 19, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Is it inappropriate here to ask what really happened in the case of the last City Manager, Charles Nickerson and the Interim Finance Director which was appointed by the Mayor and Council until a new director was hired. Didn't Mr. Nickerson have a lawsuit with the city? What happened with it?
James October 02, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Looks like the Chief has put his story on his website. http://electrichardsonformayor.com/his-story/

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