MCMP isn't a business. It's a tax-payer funded public entity, and the taxpayers have every right to demand engagement and involvement.
Shrill extremists? Nah. Most of the people from the community who speak at the meetings are well-informed, articulate, and resourceful. MCMP would be wise to put the community's skill sets to use. It's worth remembering that community volunteers have contributed greatly to maintaining the gardens and have raised substantial private monies for the park.
And lucy is not my real name. ;)
June 20, 2016 at 1:25 a.m.
Letters of resignation tend to be vague, and we're also only getting a couple of pull quotes from it. Two weeks notice is standard. I've stuck it out in a hostile work environment for longer than that. Let's not nit pick here. If the woman who is quitting her job at MCP says the environment is hostile, I'm going to trust her. How many employees have resigned in the past month? Is it four or five?
June 14, 2016 at 12:37 a.m.
Don't fight the lawsuit with taxpayer money, then, board. You have a choice. Listen to the community.
The board and ED are smart enough to know that Novotny, Kaiser, and the others are the very people who inspired the community to have confidence in passing the fifteen year levy. The community was manipulated, and it has good cause to be outraged.
I'm tired of the "look at our Lily Pond" response. That project was funded with grant money, and firing employees DID NOT provide MCP means to pay for it.
However, I'm glad to see that Frey and Shipka understand that it's a privilege to serve on a board of directors and to represent the community. I look forward to their presence leading to real change.
June 11, 2016 at 5:34 p.m.
Education Voter, I wasn't taking issue with your point re: friendship but with the response to your point.
I guess my point is that I don't think we need to make it personal. The loss of knowledge and resources that come with men like Kaiser and Novotny can't necessarily be spreadsheeted, but we can still look at from a business perspective.
We need to stop personally attacking Young and the commissioners and focus instead on how they are not good stewards of the taxpayers' money because that's the issue.
June 10, 2016 at 11:31 p.m.
I misspoke, three months severance, not six.
I just finished reading the lawsuit that was filed today. It is shocking how much power the board is willing and ready to turn over to the ED. Let's hope this lawsuit turns things around.
June 10, 2016 at 1:31 a.m.
But that's the point. We don't know that the decision was made based on resources. No clear explanation has been given for the decision to "restructure" people out of their jobs. We've gotten little more than double speak in that regard, and when we factor in six months severance contingent on non-disparagement agreements, it's looking less and less like these employees were let go with anything resembling a solid reason.
It's not about taking care of "best friends." It's about the needs of the community, and it's about answering to the taxpayers who fund the park. The park is not a private business.
The community does not believe that eliminating the positions of full-time naturalist and horticulturalist are best for the park it funds. Other comparable metroparks have two or three full-time naturalists and horticulturalists. The community's outrage at the elimination of these positions is justified. It also happens that the people who held these positions are well-liked and highly-qualified, adding to the outrage.
The park belongs to the community. The commissioners and ED work FOR the taxpayers.
June 10, 2016 at 1:11 a.m.
I don't know. The names of the filers here, these are some folks who know a thing or two. This one might have some teeth.
We have a multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded metropark being headed by a person who doesn't live in the county (and doesn't pay taxes on the park he runs), earns 92K a year + benefits + company jeep (all from taxpayer money) who has yet to provide a clear explanation for the restructuring, and who has not been appropriately evaluated in his position. If the only result from this lawsuit is that the park admin increases its level of transparency and accountability, it's a win.
June 10, 2016 at 12:41 a.m.
Actually, Young's first explanation for the firings was that he was following the spirit of the strategic master plan that was written before he was hired. Then, he switched over to the fiscal responsibility excuse.
Re: firing seasoned employees to hire younger people. If the retirement-eligible employee is still performing the job up to standards (and Novotny's record of winning awards shows that he was not only performing up to standards but surpassing them), the point is moot. Someone with 30 years of institutional knowledge and solid community relationships is invaluable. People donate to and support entities that they believe are under good stewardship. That's why it's a terrible idea to cruelly dismiss long-term, beloved employees.
Young doesn't get it. His vision for the park is too narrow and doesn't line up with park's base of support in the community. I'm not going to demonize the kid, but he needs to start listening and stop bulldozing. He's already proven he has much to learn.
May 30, 2016 at 9:50 p.m.
I look forward to seeing Ray Novotny's name listed as guide in the summer schedule of events. If this is what we're all asked to settle for, then let's make sure it's not a job in title only.
May 28, 2016 at 9:35 a.m.
Our "idiot" president was forced to address the transgender bathroom issue because of resource-wasting, unconstitutional, Republican-crafted legislation at the state level.
May 14, 2016 at 4:01 p.m.