For John, BLUF: The City Council vote yesterday may have determined the City Manager's move. Nothing to see here; just move along.
After a good night's sleep I wonder about Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch's actions last evening. As this Sun article notes, he resigned as of noon on 10 March. He dropped his resignation letter after the City Council refused his request to talk about his [current] contract in Executive Session.
Could we say, in the idiom of certain Christians, that Mr Lynch was putting a fleece before the Lord? Was he saying to himself: If they vote for an executive session I can work with them and if they don't I can't and thus I will drop my letter of resignation? That is to say, the decision to resign was not made until the vote by the City Council.
This idea of laying a fleece comes from The Book of Judges, 6:11-40, where Gideon is asking God for a sign as to what He wants Gideon to do.
Here is a discussion of the technique from the web site The Dictionary of Christianese. Here is a relevant example:
1963 Wilkerson, Sherrill The Cross and the Switchblade 9 : I made an experiment in a special kind of prayer which seeks to find God’s will through a sign. “Putting a fleece before the Lord,” it is called…. “Lord,” I said aloud, “I would like to put a fleece before You now…. If You want us to stay here in Philipsburg, we ask that You let us know by having the Committee vote for us unanimously.”So, the City Manager made a move to determine the mood of the City Council, or the Will of God, and we are now looking for a new City Manager.
Regards — Cliff