Last night, on a 4-3 vote, the town council replaced town attorney Tobin Rosen with an interim attorney.
Despite all the eloquent statements regarding Attorney Rosen and despite his own assurance to council that he will remain to help a transition, it was clear the Mayor Hiremath and Council Member Snider, Waters, and Hornat were in favor of the motion.
Eloquently, Council Member Mike Zinkin noted that there was no reason to appoint an interim attorney until January. Council Member Zinkin spoke eloquently regarding Mr. Rosen's performance for the town.
Member Burns concurred with Council Member Zinkin. He also noted that "firing" someone because they retire is wrong. They should continue their work until their retirement date, then move on with the thanks of the town. This is a common policy practice in industry and in the military.
Member Garner also concurred that Tobin Rosen should continue in his present role until his retirement date.
Tobin Rosen noted that his retirement will be effective as of January 3, and not sooner. It is his intention to continue to work as town attorney.
Council Member Hornat and Mayor Hiremath disagreed. They argued that the appointment of an interim attorney would make the transition "easier". Council Member Hornat noted his belief that employees who are leaving are not productive and should be relieved once they notice. He even suggested that the Council accept the retirement as of today.
Appointing an interim attorney will cost the town added funds since they will likely give the interim attorney an interim raise.
The motion passed 4-3, with Council Member Zinkin, Burns and Garner voting "no."
In essence, Tobin Rosen was replaced because he had announced that he will retire on January. Rather then exhibit decency in thanking Tobin for his hard work for Oro Valley and allowing him to complete his commitments to the town, the four members of council who voted to replace him sent a clear statement to all in town who wish to leave or retire. The message: "We don't trust you. Leave now." The result, people will simply quit their last day of work. They would be foolish to do otherwise.