Concerned Citizens Circulate Petition For Sunnyside City Employees

Update on petitions:

BLOGSUNNYSIDE has been informed that the discipline/termination hearing for Pam Sandifer and Terri Rhode will be moved to next week.  As a result, additional petition signatures will be gathered and presented at City Hall on December 14, 2009 at 5:00PM, instead of December 7 as originally planned.

The following is text of a press release being sent to local media:

December 6, 2009


***For Immediate Release***

Due to what appears to be the intent of INTERIM City Manager Jim Bridges to hold a discipline/termination hearing for City employees Pam Sandifer and Terri Rhode right before Christmas, a petition is being circulated to gather signatures supporting that all facts be considered before taking action.

One of the first actions taken by Mr. Bridges as INTERIM City Manager was to halt an investigation into the work environment at City Hall that was undertaken while Eric Swansen was City Manager. This is not the only investigation that has been launched into the work environment there.

Two different investigators, Larry Hellie (appointed by the City’s contracted legal firm) and Alan Key (employed by the City’s insurance carrier), have stepped forward, and are willing to meet with the Sunnyside City Council, during a Special Meeting Executive Session to discuss their findings regarding the environment for personnel working at City Hall. Their findings have never before been received by the City of Sunnyside.

Concerned citizens want the City Council to be fully informed before action is taken by the INTERIM City Manager on personnel matters. I agree, and am fully endorsing the petition’s call for a meeting to receive this new information.

The text of the petition reads as follows:

“We the undersigned, petition the City Council of Sunnyside to postpone the Discipline/ Termination hearing of Pam Sandifer and Terri Rhode until the City Council calls a special session and hears all of the evidence. Specifically the reports of the two investigators, Larry Hellie and Alan Key which the city has refused to receive.

The actions of the interim City Manager in this case, appear to be driven by personal malice toward Sandifer and Rhode. He has also stopped one investigation and refused to accept a report on another.

All we ask, is that the City Council hears ALL THE EVIDENCE not just that selected by the Interim City Manager.”

To quote City Council Member Theresa Hancock:

“I expect an open, transparent government with quality services delivered with honesty and integrity.”

The government should make informed decisions as well.

Copies of signed petitions will be presented at City Hall on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 5:00PM.

If you would like to print a copy of the petition and present it at City Hall with the others being collected, here is a copy you can download:

petition sandifer rhode