Good bye to Cheryl Harrison-Lee, who has been classy and professional throughout her tenure as Gardner’s city administer. She has represented the area’s residents well, and once again has taken the high road.
Her resignation will cost Gardner city at least $350,000 which is the stated first payment on her separation agreement; and there will be additional payments – for 20 percent of her accrued, unused sick leave, as referenced by the employee’s handbook for separation of employees in good standing. She is also entitled to 18 months of COBRA , and Harrison-Lee’s lodging and airfare to the September 2018 ICMA conference will be paid by Gardner. Under Harrison-Lee’s tenure, Gardner won several awards, including the ICMA award.
The city is required to issue a positive press release, which they did Sept. 14, and to refrain from commenting on her employment in a public forum, including social media. In return, she will withdraw or obtain a dismissal of any complaint that may be filed with either the KHRC or EEOC.
Keeping quiet will be difficult for some of Gardner’s elected officials who routinely hurl snide comments on social media. As recently as last week, Lee Moore, councilmember, chastised former council members and residents for questioning Harrison-Lee’s “disappearance.” They had spoke publicly to support her.
And also during this social media treatise, Moore “explained” all executive sessions are conducted in English. . . . . . We appreciate that clarification.
Although some council members have worked to get rid of Harrison-Lee for several years, none have ever provided a definitive reason, and as recently as 2016 unanimously approved her contract.
We’re only left to speculate why they want her gone, but we won’t. Harrison-Lee deserves better.
She held her head high and did her job day in and day out. She has handled criticism with a professional demeanor and accomplished things in spite of the city council’s sniping and chaos.
Wherever she goes; whoever is lucky enough to hire her; she will land on her feet. She’s a class act. She’s intelligent and professional. She’s out of the pressure cooker, and we wish her the best.
We just wonder who will be the next scapegoat singled out by the Governing Body.
And we wonder why the council wants her out of their way.
Unleashed ego and arrogance does not usually end well.