The Rising Sun Board of Works met in executive session on Thursday, Oct. 27th then conducted its regular meeting.
The board (consisting of Mayor Brent Bascom, councilman Dennis Williams and councilman Bill Marksberry) voted unanimously to suspend street department employee Bobby White for three weeks without pay followed by six months probation. In addition, White is to take anger management or conflict resolution type classes (at the expense to the city).
Mayor Bascom noted alleged misconduct included recent, multiple violations of the employee policy and procedure manual. He cited pages 15 and 18 of the manual regarding profane or vulgar language is not permitted as well as fighting, immoral acts, threat, intimidation or similar behavior aimed at public or other employees.
The result would be a group two rules violation. According to the policy, White was suspended with pay Monday, Oct. 24th to Thursday, Oct. 27th.
The mayor noted that multiple witnesses and statements were presented.
“We want to send the right message,” said the first year mayor. “Certain conduct will not be accepted.”
The personnel policy has been in effect since Jan. 1st, 2015 with only one documented prior incident.
Attorney Andy Baudendistel reported that a disciplinary hearing was held and procedure agreed to by employee and the city.
The incident occurred on September 28th and involved another employee who no longer is employed by the city.
Mayor Bascom continued to emphasize the action saying, “this is significant enough to warrant a stern response… to demonstrate we mean business. This conduct will not be accepted.”
Bascom added, “he (White) is accountable to Paul (street commissioner) and Paul’s accountable to me and I’m accountable to the people.”
White accepted the board’s decision and asked when he could return to work. His suspension started on Friday, Oct. 28th and he will be able to return on Friday, Nov. 18th. The mayor has the discretion on which class White will have to take.
Resident Bob White (no relation) asked about the supervisor’s responsibility in the case. Bascom said he would be handling it at city council. While admitting some supervisor actions should have been different, they were not a level two offense.
The bottom line is the board of works is “sending a clear message that no longer are certain actions going to be acceptable.”
Board members were reminded that nothing said in executive session can be repeated.