We, as the governing body of your city are charged with several challenging duties, including hiring the top executive of the city. In executing this process, we relied upon experts in a variety of fields to guide us. We try hard to encompass what we anticipate the feelings and thoughts of as broad a range of citizens as possible in these decisions.
When we made the decision to hire Drew Nelson, it was with the city’s best interest in mind. Drew brought by far the most experience to the table both in technical expertise, connections and ability to work with the department heads and staff.
Much has been said about Drew’s incident from last year. What I can say is we had a very thorough vetting process that indicated this was a singular event and that Drew was the only person he put in harm that night.
Being pragmatic, thoughtful, understanding and empathetic people, the council saw that forgiveness and caring are what we as Salidans are all about. As such it seemed appropriate that we extend a job offer to Drew, who, while perhaps flawed for one night, is still exceptionally capable and dedicated to his job and family.
We heard from a number of citizens about very personal and painful episodes in their lives, we heard and empathize with their pain. It is an important conversation and issue this council hopes to help move forward. Be assured your cries did not fall on deaf ears. We promise to continue to govern to the best of our abilities and, when hard choices are put before us, to make the best decision we can.
While no words will ever repair the wound we reopened, rest assured that Drew is not the villain he has been portrayed as in social media posts. Indeed, he is a dedicated civil servant and family man who probably has more in common with you than not. My hope is that Salida is the compassionate and caring community that I agreed to lead and that Salida will embrace Drew and his family and bring them into our community with open arms and support.
Over the six-month probationary period included in Drew’s contract, we will evaluate Drew’s performance and conduct, and we will hold him to the highest standard. I believe it is in the city’s best interest to stay the course and attend to city business.