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August 19, 2012

Public forum

Officials ambush park leadership

On July 20, the Cass County Council and commissioners ambushed the France Park board and superintendent.

France Park was listed on the agenda for this meeting; no details of the planned discussion were given. Members of the park board and superintendent attended, only to discover that there was a plan to disband the present France Park board and to fire the current park superintendent. In talking with the president of the commissioners after the meeting, the superintendent learned that a decision had been made to fire her before the 11 a.m. executive board meeting of the commissioners.

Decisions to disband the France Park board and fire the superintendent were based on complaints of a few campers during the same six months that the superintendent was on medical leave from the park. These campers stated that they always wanted to help the park. They offered services, but never completed them. They were given a chance to voice their complaints to the France Park board and superintendent at two different meetings. The superintendent publicly offered open door meetings, which they declined. The park board and superintendent were discussing these issues and working on them.

The commissioners’ president informed the superintendent that this was effective by noon that day. She was given one hour to clean out her office and leave the park. While cleaning out her office, the president of the commissioners was standing with the newly appointed superintendent nearby.

Had the members of the council and commissioners taken the time to recognize the fact that France Park has increased its revenue every year? If park conditions were so bad, why are 30 new long-term campers choosing France Park this year?

Why were suggestions of Ralph Anderson and Jim David to table the actions until further study ignored?

Why was the superintendent’s position not posted for five days as stated in the county employee handbook?

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