Mayor Barrett’s Treatment of Dr. Patricia McManus Disgraceful
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan - October 18, 2018
After all these years I should be used to Mayor Barrett being an immense disappointment – not just to me but to the city. Even so, I find his treatment of Dr. Patricia McManus since the end of her term as Health Commissioner to be disappointing and, in fact, disgraceful.
Dr. McManus was called by the Common Council to serve a Health Department riddled with ineptitude and scandal. She was called to serve after Mayor Barrett peremptorily fired then-Commissioner Bevan Baker without considering the consequences for the day-to-day operations of the department. She was called to serve after the Common Council rejected Mayor Barrett’s ill-considered appointment of Dr. Paul Nannis.
Dr. McManus assumed responsibility for this deeply-troubled department and served admirably for over a half year. She did the best she could with what she was left and provided the type of honest, open communication to the Common Council that has been distressingly rare from this administration.
Then, as her replacement began making her way through the confirmation process, statements were made to me and, it is my understanding, other Council members, that Dr. McManus would be kept by the department for a period of time to ease the transition and to give her an opportunity to share what she learned during her tenure with the new administration. I was pleased to hear that, perhaps, the Mayor had learned the importance of transparency and honest communication.
I should have known better.
For Dr. McManus to have been shown the door, seemingly the moment her replacement took her oath of office is something of which the Mayor should be ashamed. It was ungracious and ungrateful.
For my part, I thank Dr. McManus for her service to Milwaukee.