Birmingham Won't Retain Bruner As City Manager

The Birmingham City Commission will appoint an interim city manager following Bruner's departure next month.

Birmingham City Manager Bob Bruner's contract with Birmingham expires
Birmingham City Manager Bob Bruner's contract with Birmingham expires
Bob Bruner isn't staying as Birmingham's city manager.

The Birmingham City Commission on Monday opted not to renew Bruner's contract when it expires next month, ending a few weeks of speculation and uncertainty.

"After extensive consideration, the commission has decided to allow Mr. Bruner's contract to expire on Feb. 13," Mayor Pro Tem Stuart Sherman read from a statement on behalf of the Board. "We expect Mr. Bruner to complete the terms of his contract."

Sherman also said an interim city manger will be appointed at an upcoming commission meeting.

City commissioners discussed the matter during a closed session that lasted more than an hour after Monday's regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall. Mayor Scott Moore was not in attendance.

The decision comes at an interesting time for both Bruner and Birmingham. The city is on the cusp of a bond campaign to revamp the Baldwin Public Library that could reach voters in May and cost $21 million. Bruner and commissioners spent much of the public portion of the last meeting discussing how to proceed on what he called the most complex building projects the city has attempted in decades.

As contract negotiations continued last month, Bruner became a candidate for the vacant city manager's position in Huntington Woods. He abruptly withdrew his name before the final round of interviews last week, and apologized to Birmingham residents while praising the City Commission in an e-mail.

“In many respects … the best governing body I have ever had the privilege of working with," he wrote.

Bruner did not respond to an email from Patch Wednesday.

What qualities should Birmingham's next city manager have? Tell us with a comment.

Clinton Baller January 16, 2014 at 07:17 AM
The commission owes the public an explanation of its reasons for not renewing Bruner's contract.
Racer Boy January 16, 2014 at 08:49 PM
I think following how Mr. Bruner comported himself during "negotiations" is all I needed to be comfortable with the Commission not renewing his contract.
Mom C January 17, 2014 at 12:08 AM
He had a right to see what other opportunities there were when a renewal with Birmingham was dragging on. So the council gets its petty revenge by losing someone with a good record and who knows the city, and will incur the expenses of looking for someone new. Brilliant!
ClassAct4 January 17, 2014 at 12:11 PM
I have found in my dealings with Bob, that he is professional, and concerned with helping residents with their problems. He has been very responsive to our homeowner's association inquiries. Bob could have handled his negotiations more artfully, but who among the council is perfect? Mom C is right, it will just cost the City for a new search, when we have a quality person in house. It's not too late to patch things up and keep Bob Bruner in town. Use this situation as a learning experience, and move forward!
Stephen Hamilton January 18, 2014 at 07:59 AM
I don't agree with the comments supporting Bruner, very strange behavior over the past couple months with some offensive emails sent out to the commission and others. Birmingham operates at a higher standard and should demand more.


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