Brinkman’s Email to All City Staff Following Penny’s Termination

From: Debbie Brinkman <>
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Subject: Michael Penny
To: All City <>
Cc: Michael Penny <>

Dear Everyone,

Under normal circumstances Michael would have my head for sending an email to all of staff but these are not normal circumstances.
I can not express how sorry I am that there were four votes to remove Michael from the job he loves and the people he loves and the work he loves. I can not tell you how sorry I am that every attempt to alter this outcome failed. I can not tell you how sorry I am that we will all start the day with the shock that is our new reality.
Michael made me a better councilor. He taught me, guided me, followed me, led me, picked me up, scolded me, praised me, and was my friend. He made me a better person. He made me a better Mayor. He made me a better council person.
He never stopped praising you. He glowed with pride when he spoke of his staff. His praise for your work, your commitment, your devotion and your passion was endless. He defended you and fought for you. He was the voice that you may never have heard on a Tuesday night. He had your backs. He always had your backs. He was your gladiator. He never relented from making sure that council knew what an incredible team of people really ran this city.
I am ashamed of council. I don’t care if my comments aren’t PC. Screw PC. Michael did not deserve to lose his job. Four votes were wrong. Wrong as wrong could be. I’d rather have retail pot than no Michael and you know thats a big statement if you know anything about me!
I am sorry. I am sorry that massive egos and lack of communication and petty insecurities were the basis for the firing of one of the best city managers in the state of Colorado. What the hell? Seriously. What the hell?
I don’t know what’s next. But I know that Michael would want each of you to soldier on. I know that it’s scary to have a council that is absolutely, certifiably INSANE. I get that. Believe me. BUT there is a city that requires your attention and there is no better team in the country to get the job done. You had the Michael Penny experience. You are better for it. This city is better for it.
In closing I want to thank each of you. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for long nights, long days, tough decisions, low pay, high expectations, and a ton of stuff I don’t even know about it. Thank you for getting it done. For keeping this place we call Littleton going. It’s you. Make no mistake about it. It’s not the crazy council…it’s YOU.
Michael Penny bragged about you to anyone that would listen. He never stopped bragging about you. He never took the credit – he always gave it to you. In service of Michael we will get through today and then tomorrow and then next week and then next month.
I am so sorry. I am sorry that this happened. That we couldn’t stop it. That it makes no damn sense. I’m just so sorry. I am just so damn sorry.
Thank you. Thank you for everything. Always.

Debbie Brinkman

Mayor Pro Tem
City of Littleton

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