Because it’s none of our business

Grantville’s parks and recreation director was suspended for one week without pay.

And the reason for that was …

Hang on a second. It’s right here somewhere in our notes. Hmm. Can’t find anything. Heck, let’s just ask Mayor Jim Sells, who’s also the acting city manager until the city gets its act together and actually hires someone.

Unfortunately, Sells, who’s the one who suspended Michelle Huffstickler in his role as acting city manager, won’t comment, saying it’s a personnel matter.

Huh?

Sorry, but when a department head whose salary is being paid for by the taxpayers gets suspended, residents have every right to know what in the world is going on.

Fortunately, two newly elected council members, who apparently don’t understand how Godfather Sells operates, are willing to talk. Thank you, Leonard Gomez and David Riley.

From what they told our reporter, an email was sent about having a called recreation committee meeting. Huffstickler didn’t show up. Sells tried to fire her but couldn’t because that takes a majority of city council, so he suspended her instead.

Here’s the kicker: Huffstickler never got the email.

“She was unaware that a meeting was taking place that day,” Gomez said. “All attempts to contact her were botched due to a failure in the city’s email server - an issue that an IT member confirmed.”

Even after it was proven the email was never received, Sells refused to reinstate her pay for the time she missed during her suspension, according to the council members.

Just so we are all on the same page. Sells suspends a department head for not showing up at a meeting the department head didn’t know about.

Makes perfect sense to us. Aren’t all department heads required to take mind-reading classes and get certified in such?

Gomez and Riley said they didn’t even know about the suspension initially, finding out about it from a citizen. Gomez tried to get the issue put on Monday’s city council meeting, but Sells blocked it.

An open government is an honest government. When the mayor starts hiding behind the loophole of “personnel” matters and blocking open discussion of issues elected council members want to discuss, it’s time to watch out.

We’d suggest Gomez and Riley not go fishing with the godfather any time soon.



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