A resident posted #WhereIsCheryl on social media. A hashtag is a way to keep informed on up-to-the-minute information for those on electronic media.
Whether it’s a real hashtag, or just referenced in passing, it’s still a valid question.
It’s been two weeks since the last Cheryl Harrison-Lee citing at Gardner City Hall. With a city administrator contract – which was unanimously approved in January 2016 – of about $161,000 annually; her mysterious whereabouts is racking up nearly $620 a day in taxpayers’ monies.
Plus applicable attorney fees, if there are any.
That’s about $6,200 in salary as of this writing, plus allowable car and cell phone expenses.
To date, Gardner’s mayor and city council have not publicly stated what’s going on. More than six hours of closed sessions on “non elected personnel” year to date have adjourned with no public action taken. And no justification for the closed sessions has been provided.
Although the governing body has not issued a statement, Harrison-Lee has publicly indicated a willingness to continue to work as city administrator. So her absence does not appear to be voluntary.
If she was on vacation, resigned or a leave of absence, the city would have been forthcoming. Even in cases of personnel being put on paid – or nonpaid – administrative leave, a statement is usually issued and an interim appointed. That has not been publicly done.
As recently as September, the council unanimously approved a working budget which was developed by Harrison-Lee and staff. The document lists a myriad of awards city staff has won under Harrison-Lee’s direction.
On Sept. 25, Harrison-Lee is set to travel to Boston for a special ceremony as part of the 99th ICMA annual conference. ICMA service awards recognize and celebrate members dedication to public service and professional management. Who will accept the award for Harrison-Lee’s endeavors?


Or more aptly: