In the recent town council meeting, Mayor Miller opened with a statement about the events that led to the closing of the town’s post office.
Here’s what he said.
I’d appreciate if there weren’t any outbursts during the meeting. I’d like to keep some order. And I would like everyone to be respectful of everyone else, including the council and staff.
On Monday, October 22, the council voted unanimously to terminate the services of employee Jean Maher. On Thursday, November 1, the interim Town Manager [Chief Williams] and myself met with Miss Maher and informed her of this decision. One of the remaining post office employees was later offered the position of interim post office department head. On Monday, November 5th, town staff was informed that the three remaining post office employees had resigned.
Due to the inability to staff the post office, the building was closed. Because it was not the council’s intent to discontinue postal services at this time, I reached out to the three employees that resigned and asked them to reconsider their resignation. All three declined to reconsider.
Myself and the council very much understand that many people are upset about the decision to release Miss Maher. I’m also guessing that many of you are here to support her and the post office, and I can appreciate that.
I’m not going to allow public discussion on this topic at this meeting for the following reasons.
First of all, all these events just recently occurred, some as early as last week. The council has not had time to thoughtfully consider appropriate actions with respect to the post office and the visitor center. I don’t think anyone wants to make hasty decisions when emotions are still high. Miss Maher has filed a grievance with the town. This grievance needs to be examined and acted upon appropriately.
I wanted to say a word about confidentiality, because that’s a big issue, apparently. Personnel matter confidentiality is enforced by all employers, both commercial and government. These confidentiality constraints are put in place to protect both the employee and the employer.
This is not something the council dreamed up to hide these matters from residents. It’s the same protocol that applies to why your employer would not make the reason for your separation public. It is simply inappropriate.
So any notion of hiding or secrets among the council is not the case. This is standard business protocol. The town has processes in place for personnel issues and we are following them, but again much of the information is not open to the public.
The council does have a desire to have a visitor’s center and postal services in town. We plan on bringing together some ideas from the council, from the Main Street Association, from the businesses, and the public to determine practical and budget conscious solutions to providing services.
These types of discussions require long-term thinking and not knee-jerk reactions based on emotions at this time. Thus it seems prudent to delay these discussions until the council and staff have had time to research multiple options for further deliberation. I’d appreciate your patience as we work through these things.
So somebody might ask me “Okay so when are we going to talk about this?” I’d like to say that tentatively at the next council meeting we’re going to discuss visitor center and post office options. If the public has ideas or suggestions, you can email them to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think I’ve covered everything with respect to this topic. I’m not going to allow a whole lot of public speeches, because I really don’t think it’s going to be constructive at this time. I will take a couple minutes and answer questions. Again, I can’t answer personnel questions and I don’t want to get into the future of the visistors center and post office, because the council really hasn’t considered what’s going to happen with that yet, because all this just happened last week. So everybody can throw ideas around and all options are open.
Articles from other sources:
Sykesville post office closed after manager fired, others resign - Kelcie Pegher, Carroll County Times
Sykesville residents plan to talk about future of post office - Kelcie Pegher, Carroll County Times
Sykesville’s Town Council discusses future of post office - Kelcie Pegher, Carroll County Times
Manager’s dismissal has Sykesville residents worried about fate of post office - Bob Allen, Explore Carroll