Richard Piatt ReportingThe latest changes in the Salt Lake City Mayor's office include a resignation and a firing. Both occurred last Friday, and there are strong words from both those staffers and Mayor Rocky Anderson, as a result.
Unfortunately, all the major participants in this story do not appear on camera for this story. One is ill; another not returning phone calls; Rocky Anderson is camping in the high Uintas. But the strong feelings about yet more turnover in Anderson's office are generating plenty of talk.
It's quiet in the Salt Lake City Mayor's office today and some would argue it's because the Mayor's not here; his office dark. But his long-time assistant, Christi Cordwell is gone too, her resignation a sign of simmering issues in the office. Such discontent and disagreement also existed for Deeda Seed, Rocky's ex-communication director, fired Friday.
Deeda Seed, Former Anderson Communication Director: "I'm very relieved I don't have to deal with that any more. Rocky creates hostile work environment, uses foul language, berates people...He's a religious bigot."
Over the phone Seed told KSL she's relieved she doesn't have to deal with the Mayor anymore. As the sixth PR director in Anderson's administration, she says the mayor uses foul language, and berates people.
The Mayor's reaction to the release of e-mails over the President's protest rally was the final straw between Seed and the Mayor. Seed had worked with Anderson off and on for five years. Over the e-mails, she said he went ballistic, in part, because he can't stand the thought of people disagreeing with him.
Top staffers defended the Mayor.
Sam Guevara, Anderson Chief of Staff: "I'm a little surprised at her attitude. I will admit Rocky has a lot of things he wants done. But most of the conversations I've been involved in have to do with job performance."
Cliff Lyon, Anderson Communication Director: "I think he holds himself to a very high standard and he expects those around him to operate at the same level."
In fact, the Mayor describes Seed's job performance as 'poor'. But Anderson has long had a rough relationship with others too, most notably the city council.
Eric Jergensen, Salt Lake City Council: "To start over again, and over again and over again is tough. It's tough for the inner workings of the council administration."
Nancy Saxton, Salt Lake City Council: "He is not a man you work with, he's a man you work for, and he doesn't see people as equals."
Each person in this story admires the Mayor for some of the things he does, especially Deeda Seed. But these latest departures also reflect a quality Anderson's detractors only focus on: His determination to further his own agenda at all costs.