To the Editor:
When there are issues within one municipality, I’ve always felt it’s best to resolve them internally rather than writing Letters to the Editor. However, after nearly two months of listening to residents address our President and Board of Trustees about unbecoming behaviors and actions shown by some, and in support of our employees, speaking up myself, and all of us being brushed off, I want to comment on your June 24 article about the situation in the Village of Lakewood.
The current Board of Trustees has been quite divided at times, which is not uncommon in public service. There’s apparently been an overwhelming number of complaints of bullying, harassment and more against the Village’s President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), made not by two or three, but by about 30 current and past employees which needed to be properly addressed.
At the June 23 board meeting, Trustee Berman presented a “Majority Report Findings of Fact” that had been facilitated by four of the six-member Board of Trustees (he, and Trustees Doug Ulrich, Brian Augustine and Pam Eddy). It was apparently not shown to the others in advance of the meeting where a straw poll was to be taken on it, and it ended with the statement “the matter is closed.”
As I listened to, and subsequently read the report, I found clear fault with the way it was handled, the number of employees who were never contacted, and with the findings themselves that failed to resolve the unacceptable work atmosphere.
I stand firmly with Lakewood’s loyal, hardworking current and past employees who are being, or have already been, forced out; with the nearly 200 residents who have signed a petition asking for the Chief Administrative Officer to be placed on temporary administrative leave while a fair and independent investigation is pursued; and with the two board members (Trustees Younge and Odom) who have steadfastly supported our employees.
As grateful as I am to any resident who steps up to serve, and realizing that there will always be differences in personality and opinions, I am still truly disappointed in Lakewood’s current leadership.