At 6:51 p.m. on July 12, moments after the Tacoma City Council voted to fire him, then-City Manager Eric Anderson sent out a mass-distributed email to the city’s general government staff under the subject line, “Message to Employees.”
In it, Anderson bid city staff farewell, thanking them for their “partnership over the last six years.”
I am proud of the work we have accomplished as a city during my tenure, such as reduction in crime, improvements in the neighborhoods, and that we have made it through the current economic crisis without a reduction in services to the residents who we serve. I have complete trust that you will lead this organization in the years ahead as it continues to strive to reach the City Council’s strategic goals. I am truly thankful to have been able to call Tacoma my home and to be part of a coproduction community that has worked toward solutions to the many challenges our City faces.
Anderson’s email drew a wave of responses, many of them expressing regret and sorrow for his firing and thanking him for his service and leadership.
“My heart is breaking,” city auditor Scottie Nix wrote. “Eric, you are one of the brightest, honorable, and greatest leaders in government. It has been the highest honor in my life to have worked for you.”
“To say this is shocking and unbelievable would be an understatement,” emailed Tory Green, the Fire Department’s Medical Services Officer. “I am speechless.”
The emails, obtained by The News Tribune under a broader public records request submitted more than two months ago, were released on Friday. According to the city clerk’s office, they represent only the city’s first installment, with another batch of emails expected to be released in about a month.
Some of the emails to Anderson directly questioned the city council’s wisdom.