Question gets council member called to the office
A question raised by Marion councilman Ruth Herbel during Monday’s meeting led to an after-meeting talk between Herbel and city administrator Roger Holter.
During parks and recreation director Margo Yates’ report to the council, Yates said she had helped a local small business find a new location expected to result in better sales, watched videos on helping businesses attract customers during a pandemic, and other sales-oriented topics, and passed along tips she’d learned to local businesses.
Herbel asked whether funds for Yates’ time in that effort were paid from the recreation department budget or from the economic development budget.
“I said I thought she ought to be paid out of economic development instead of recreation,” Herbel said.
Holter told Herbel that recreation expenses were down because of COVID-19 cancellations.
After the meeting adjourned, Herbel went to the city office to get copies of some documents, and Holter asked her to come to his office the next time she had a concern about an employee, and to keep it out of the public view.
“I did ask her that,” Holter said. “It’s inappropriate to discuss employee performance in a public meeting. I’d be glad to answer any council member’s questions.”
The city administrator is supervisor of all staff members, Holter said.
“He said it embarrassed the employee and the city,” Herbel said. “He said I embarrassed Margo and made Margo think I was going after her job.”
Herbel said she stopped in Yates’ office to apologize and tell Yates she is not “after her job.”