Every story as two, or three sides

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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The termination of Bill Bridges from the Escambia County Engineering and Road Department may have come as a big surprise for many in our community — maybe not so much for others.
For those who attended Monday’s meeting of the Escambia County Commission, you were witnessing proper procedure at its best.
I, for one, can’t imagine the nervousness, anxiety and maybe even a little frustration that was being felt in that room — especially for Bridges and the Commissioners.
Although one person did question the reason for the termination and even asked for examples, that question wasn’t answered. Not by Commissioners. Not by Bridges.
I’m sure everyone is curious how an employee with such a long history in his engineering position with the county could be terminated without explanation.
From my point of view, I’m not sure I want to know — nor do I need to know.
Alabama is an at-will state when it comes to employment. Someone can be fired from their job just because the boss decides they don’t like the way an employee combs their hair. The employer doesn’t even have to give a reason for letting an employee go from their job.
There are always two sides to every story — maybe even three. No matter which side you choose to believe, there really is no way to get 100 percent satisfaction from an answer from either side.
Even though we may be curious about the reasons behind the dismissal, it really isn’t any of our business.
As I watched the proceedings on Monday, I wondered just how Bill felt — sitting there, in public, with supporters all around — knowing his job was at stake. To be terminated publicly can’t be a pleasant experience.
And, in that same position, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Commissioners to vote to end his employment with the county. After all, this was someone they had worked with on countless projects, trusted with millions of dollars in equipment, personnel and funding and had more than one or two cups of coffee with over the years.
I’ve been on both ends of that table before — being terminated and even terminating someone. Neither spot is an easy one.
I’m pretty sure we will never know the real reason behind the decision of the Commission on Monday. And, in the end, I’m okay with that.
I will wish Bill the best of luck as he moves forward from this. And, I’ll wish the Commission good luck as they search for his replacement.

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