Editor’s note: Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin gave this memo to each member of the Marion City Council on Nov. 29. Council member Bill Holdeman provided a copy to the Marion County Record.
“This is an informational memo drafted to each of you concerning our office personnel responses this morning to your actions last night. The combination of forgiving the hospital late fee, allowing Mr. Barrell to receive electrical service, and comments of “too many employees, already,” has devastated morale within the office. Furthermore, your actions comprise an irresponsible management of city funds that this staff works tirelessly to conserve.
“What should be the response to the other three disconnects that had to find other housing arrangements last night? Why should a single man be allowed to subvert the policy when families are not granted the same comforts? Should we just disband disconnect policies and let them pay whenever?
“Our front desk staff is trying to maintain some consistency with our operations. You have the luxury of granting favors at night while our staff takes the daily ‘ripping’ from those not afforded the same opportunity. We, who enforce the rules, have our knees cut out from under us by actions like those made last night.
“Giving lip service to ‘being tough’ individually, while voting unanimously to grant an exception is disappointing, to say the least. I believe the public elected each of you to act on the benefit of the town and its operations. I question, if anyone cares, if they would agree with these actions.
“I am upset, obviously, because I have spent a half hour trying to convince the only two office staff we have, not to quit. They have to take the justifiably angry phone calls, they have to take the frustrated and enraged language from our customers, they have to be the ‘bad guy’ to the public. I doubt you have any idea of the stresses put upon them on a daily basis.
“Even though I try to advise the Council in a fiscally responsible manner, it is obvious you do not value my efforts. It is highly recommended that each of you start acting like elected leaders and make decisions based on the consistency, financial health, and community responsibility that this town has established and deserves.”