The Town seems determined to sweep the whole Hope issue behind the barn. The Town COWncil (with both the Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem absent) remained mule-ishly silent last night at the first Town COWncil meeting since Hope officially ‘resigned’ as of June 26th. NOT ONE WORD was uttered about Hope’s resignation from her position as Planning Director and Assistant Town Manager.
We find it very odd that any valued, long-term employee would be allowed to leave without the obligatory plaque, speech, and hug-and-kiss that generally accompanies any transition at all in this Town. After all, Sue Boynton got one just for going from Mayor back to Town COWncil woman in December, Susan George got a hug-and-kiss on her anniversary with the Town, and even the REPORTER from the Almanac got a warm send-off from the COWncil when she moved to a different beat at the same newspaper! This is NOT a COWncil that lets any opportunity to fete its own go by, and yet they are being completely MOOt on this issue.
Apparently the Town has decided on a policy of avoiding the issue of Hope’s leaving the government payroll, perhaps in the hope that no one will notice. But the lack of even a ‘good luck Hope’ or a ‘Hope Sullivan, longtime staff member and high-ranking official in the Town of Woodside, will no longer be working for the Town’ from her direct boss Susan George or anyone on the COWncil is downright strange.
We understand that personnel issues can be sensitive but the COWncil can publicly acknowledge that the Planning Director is no longer an employee and there will be a process for finding her replacement and how long will it take? Does Hope’s departure mean that there will be a change in attitude of the Planning Department? What changes can we anticipate?
Similarly, the public has a right to know that when an employee is on paid leave that it is for some good reason. After all we pay for the leave. We should be told how long the leave lasted and the general reasons why there was paid leave. Was something being investigated? Was it a disguised severance payment? These questions do not go away just because Hope’s departure is not publicly acknowledged.