FAIRFIELD — City Manager Sean Quinn won praise as a steady force during Fairfield’s hard times and a government official who knew all 519 city employees by name when Fairfield City Council members spoke Tuesday about the retired top executive in municipal government.
Councilman John Mraz said Quinn provided answers and served as a voice of reason.
“If he was on the Titanic,” Mraz said, “the Titanic would still be on the ocean.”
Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro recalled being appointed six years to the City Council and knowing little about municipal government.
“Sean was the teacher,” Vaccaro said. “It’s really been an honor to serve with you and to call you my friend.”
Councilwoman Pam Bertani, an attorney, spoke about joining the council in 2011.
“I knew how to operate in a courtroom but municipal government was all new to me,” Bertani said.
She cited work Quinn successfully undertook at the Civic Center as city manager.
“We all know what actually happens up there on the fourth floor,” Bertani said.
Councilwoman Catherine Moy referred to her former work as a newspaper reporter and said it’s very easy to complain in columns about what the city does. Moy said she learned about the realities of municipal government.
“He never rests,” she said of Quinn. “It is why we are still above water.”
Mayor Harry Price said the retired city manager is leaving the 108,000 people of Fairfield in a good situation.
“Mr. Quinn, my friend Sean, thank you for being the kind of city manager that every mayor would want to work with,” Price said.
Quinn retired April 3 as city manager and has served as interim manager since. The council on June 3 hired Assistant City Manager David White to replace Quinn. White’s tenure as city manager begins Friday.
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