Some troubling information about the Boyle County Senior Citizens Center emerged in a May 16 report by Advocate staff writer David Brock.
Following up on rumors that there may be trouble at the facility, and unable to get anyone with direct knowledge to comment, Brock submitted an open records request for meeting minutes over several months. Even those were painstakingly pursued, but once in hand revealed discussions and motions that shouldn’t have to be taking place among those operating an institution devoted to helping our older residents.
Here’s a sampling from the minutes of March 7:
- An executive session was called to discuss “personnel issues.” This is not an uncommon use of the exemption in the open meetings law, but you have to wonder why Danville’s interim city manager and a police officer were asked to stay in the room.
- A motion was necessary to instruct the organization’s executive director to follow regulations, bylaws and policies “to the letter.” Really? We would have expected that to be in the job description.
- Executive Director Jackie Sims also was instructed not to make any public statements, “especially to the press,” without prior board approval.
- Board member Bob Rowland, a former and longtime superintendent of Danville schools, felt the need to make a motion to restrict weapons on the center’s property. We are surprised this was not already a policy, as it is for most responsible public places, but it begs the question: Why now? That question was not addressed in the minutes, and no one is talking.
Almost a week later, on March 13, the minutes show that Sims’ resignation was accepted “pending consultation with an attorney,” but two days later the board placed both Sims and her son Michael, who also worked at the center, on “paid administrative leave.” Both were barred from the property and contact with staff.