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Wilder Pledges No Mass Firings

"I resent it. I don't like it. I think it's a low blow," he says. "Anybody who knows me knows that I wouldn't do that."

Wilder does warn, however, that those spreading the rumors should fear for their jobs if he is elected. "Somebody is going to go, and those that will go are those that don't want to see the people benefit," he says.

Wilder has called himself the reform candidate, campaigning to clean up City Hall. It seems natural that he would be fielding more "Who will be fired first?" questions.

It's also natural that some city employees would be concerned about the transition to a new form of government, says Vice Mayor Delores L. McQuinn.

"With any type of transition, there would be some tension," McQuinn says. "There is concern among residents, concern among employees, concern among City Council members. I think there is concern and rightly so."

There is no reason to worry, Wilder says. If you are a good employee, you won't be going anywhere. Addressing another rumor, he says he also would not ask every city department director to tender their resignations and reapply.

"It's preposterous," he says.

Still, the tensions down at City Hall are mounting. The city has held three meetings with city employees in early October to discuss the transition in January.

Chester Brazzell, director of human resources for the city, says there is apprehension but no groundswell of employee angst — not yet, at least.

"To the best of my knowledge, there is no widespread chaos or anything of that nature," Brazzell says, adding that even among the city's department heads and directors, largely seen as most vulnerable, no one has jumped ship.

"Everybody is still onboard and hoping for the best," he says. — Scott Bass

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