|Gering HR director placed on administrative leave|
|November 13, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Carrie Havranek, Gering’s director of human resources, has been placed on paid administrative leave as of Oct. 31.
What might have been strictly a personnel issue was made public when Havranek emailed city council members asking for a personnel committee meeting to address the matter.
According to the email, the leave was prompted by apparent complaints from another city staff member. Havranek said she was informed of the action by Mayor Ed Mayo and City Council President Don Christensen but did not have an opportunity to answer the claims made prior to her leave.
Havranek’s email correspondence asked that council member Dan Smith head up the personnel committee hearing because members Christensen and Troy Cowan had supplied documents for the complaint process.
However, Havranek said she was informed by City Administrator Lane Danielzuk that her request for a hearing before the council’s personnel committee was denied.
Council member Julie Morrison said she was aware of the action and wanted to get some clarification about the letter during Monday’s council meeting.
Morrison said it was odd that Mayor Ed Mayo, who usually asks for comments from the public and council members at the end of each meeting, neglected to include the council on Monday.
Morrison brought up the point herself, asking for discussion on the letter. City Attorney Jim Ellison advised her that the matter was being handled internally under the city’s personnel policy chain of command. But Morrison, who also serves on the Personnel Committee, said they were never called for a meeting.
“I don’t know, so I can’t say why Carrie requested a meeting,” Morrison said. “That’s why I brought the letter, so I could get something addressed. But every place I’ve asked, I get stonewalled. It’s ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t say’ over and over again. As a council member, I’m clueless as to what’s going on in city hall. That I don’t like. This is starting to smell like a packing plant.”
Morrison said she was told the documentation was available in the city attorney’s office, but that it would take about two hours to review all the material.
“If someone had explained the situation to me, I never would have needed to ask the council for clarification about the letter,” she said. “I still don’t understand why the council doesn’t know anything and that’s a lack of transparency in government.”