EXECUTIVE SESSION. 1. Recess into Executive Session in compliance with Texas Local Government Code Section GC §551.074: Personnel: Pursuant to Section 551.074 (Personnel Matters) City Council will meet to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of (and if necessary, seek advice from City Attorney under 551.071): Discussion, Consideration, and possible action regarding Supervisor at Oakdale Park III. ACTION ON EXECUTIVE SESSION ITEMS Take any action necessary as a result of the Executive Session
Although the meeting notice said that this was to be conducted in executive session, Kelly Harris asked that it be conducted in open session. Chris Bryant, city councilman, was the one who had asked for the meeting, and he had a list of items he wanted to discuss. The first item involved Harris's evaluation from last year- no one brought the evaluation. When her personnel file was eventually found, it didn't contain the evaluation. (Update: The files were found this morning, apparently the former city administrator had them all in his office)
At that point, Jim Holder was discussing the review from memory. Chris Bryant had further allegations, with most of his corroborating support coming from Holder, and not from written statements or other evidence.
Kelly Harris made a statement
After all the City Council had a chance to put in input, quite a few people made citizen comments supporting Ms Harris.
Near the close of the meeting, Bryant made a motion " to place Kelly Harris the park supervisor immediately on a two week paid suspension with the requirement and stipulation (mayor added stipulation) that she have no communication, contact with any city employee and authorize the interim city administrator, the chief of police and public works director to investigate and gather facts and statements to support or dismiss all allegations that have been presented to the city council" The motion failed for lack of a second.
This is the full video of the meeting
This is all my opinion starting here. I really like Kelly Harris. I have liked her from the moment I first saw her doing reports at the city. Last year when I was completing creating a video of Whimp May re: Oakdale, I went down to Oakdale and met her in person and found her very warm, helpful and intelligent. She told me at that time about her efforts to bring various community music and festivals to Glen Rose, for tourism as well as for local people, and I thought it was great. When I went to the meeting, I wondered what egregious thing Ms Harris might have done and tried to have an open mind. However, I believe Chris Bryant did not have a good case against Ms Harris, although he may have had good intentions. Right from the start, a lot of it was based on a review that no one had. No one's memory gets better after a year but worse. Some other allegations were that children were in the office area, playing on park equipment, that Ms Harris was not at the park, etc. When any of these things were brought to her attention, she stopped them. Frankly, made me wonder if she had a detailed job description that included, for example, ensuring there were contracts for the temporary park employees, etc. If there are issues of that nature, seems to me that falls on, first, Harris' boss, and then on the city administrator to ensure ALL areas of the city have clearly written job descriptions and procedures spelled out. And, these allegations were also based, in part, on complaints from somebody(s) that were unnamed. If this had been a court trial, those allegations would have been hearsay.
I also don't think it's the obligation of anyone other than the person bringing allegations to provide the proof of what he or she says. Kelly didn't know what the allegations were against her in the first place, so why would she bring her review? It's a Ducks In A Row situation that also ensures fairness to those who are being accused of wrongdoing.
P.S. Slightly off topic, but I have a WONDERFUL video I took of Kelly where she looked into the camera and told me her list of accomplishments. Unfortunately, it's on my ipad and the internet has been so bad I've been unable to get it off the ipad. I will update this with that great video when that can be done.
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