SAGINAW, MI — Saginaw City Manager Darnell Earley has responded to recent calls from the community for him to tender his resignation as Saginaw's top administrative official.
Members of the audience at a Tuesday, Feb. 19, community meeting said they believe Earley should be fired because of the direction he has been leading the city.
Earley drafted a written response — dated Thursday, Feb. 21 — aimed at the comments made during the meeting.
"I find it quite disingenuous on the part of certain people to raise the issue of terminating me or any member of my staff for doing the job that the City Council, in two motions at separate meetings, directed us to do, as did a 17 member citizen's advisory committee," he wrote. "That task was to explore proposals for contracting police services to the Saginaw County Sheriff."
The meeting Tuesday was hosted by the Southwest Neighborhood Association and attended by Mayor Greg Branch and some other members of Saginaw City Council.
During the meeting, Branch said the city's financial problems would not be solved by firing the city manager.
"Ultimately, the issue here is not, and should not be, individual personalities, because it does not matter who the city manager is, we are still going to have the same issues," he said. "This is bigger than Darnell Earley."
In his response, Earley said his management team is exploring all financial options that will keep the city "financially solvent" and prevent the state from declaring Saginaw in a financial emergency. Punctuating the statement with an exclamation mark, he writes that the state designation could result if the city spends money it does not have.
"The majority of the public gets it," Earley wrote. "They also dismiss this latest attempt to shift the real focus of this issue as the political ruse of those with special interests trying to direct all this negative energy and attention to me and my staff. As a veteran City Manager, I believe such emotional responses and tactics are to be expected as we deliberate public safety service models, as it is a matter of great concern and ultimately for the benefit of all stakeholders."