Dover council sacks its city clerk - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Dover council sacks its city clerk

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Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012 10:00 am

DOVER — The City Council fired Clerk Kym Holbert on Thursday.

The council deliberated behind closed doors for about an hour and half before voting 4-0 to cut her loose. Afraid that the executive session discussion would be overheard, Councilman Dave Darling told members of the public to leave City Hall and wait outside the building.

Council members declined to discuss the basis for Holbert’s dismissal after emerging from the executive session and voting.

However, there appears to be little dispute that a confrontation between Holbert and Councilwoman Annie Shaha factored into the turn of events.

Accounts of the confrontation are contested and vague.

One account holds that Holbert forcibly removed Shaha from City Hall after the councilwoman insisted on preparing the council’s chambers for a reception related to the dedication of the new U.S. Highway 2 bridge last month.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, Shaha said she was not at liberty to discuss the matter because it was being handled in executive session.

“I certainly have things to say,” she said.

Mayor Randy Curless said he did not witness the confrontation and therefore would not comment on it.

“I wasn’t there so I can’t say,” Curless said prior to Thursday’s meeting.

Curless did say there were opposing accounts of what took place.

Holbert did not attend Thursday’s hearing and does not have a listed phone number.

She did not respond to a request for comment that was channeled through a city official. Holbert’s reported legal counsel also did not respond to a request for comment.

Holbert’s dismissal follows months of rancor at Dover City Hall between long-standing council members and its newer members, who include Shaha and Denise Travis.

Supporters of the new council members contend old-guard city officials have marginalized their new colleagues and repeatedly blocked items from appearing on the council’s agenda. They further allege that Holbert drafted misleading or inaccurate meeting minutes that were calculated to paint veteran council members in the most favorable light.

Supporters of the veteran council members counter that the newer members have harassed and bullied city officials in an effort to get their way, and inundated the city with nuisance public records requests.

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  • Luv83864 posted at 7:32 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    I didn't know that the staff would pick the titles for articles published. Thanks for that information. If I were the writer I would want to pick the title. Even if it read fired imstead of sacked I would be better with that and that clearly gets the point across and attention. Sacked just doesn't seem professional at all, I will say I think the "Bee" has improved lately but we aren't there yet. The story was noteworthy as far as I can see but I don't know the behind the scenes as some may know. Sacked isn't respected unless its football.

  • IdahoGal posted at 7:23 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    I'm sure they didn't tell her she was being "sacked".... she may have gotten the same line Bill Litsinger did.

  • Bill Litsinger posted at 5:47 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

    Bill Litsinger Posts: 1394

    I think this was a news worthy topic. I've always believed that "where there is smoke there is fire."

    I personally don't like the word "SACKED" used in the headline. I've never been told by an employer I was being "sacked," "fired," "canned" or "booted out." I was always informed I was being given the opportunity to further my career by finding new employment with an employer that appreciated my talents.

  • IdahoGal posted at 4:33 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    One of the things I know about newspapers is that the correspondents or writers of the news stories are never the people who write the headlines. That is done by a staff member whose responsibility is to write those eye catching lines that draw the readers in. If the headline for this story had been "Dover City Council takes action" or "City of Dover is busy" or some other mundane, boring line, no one would read the article or want to buy the paper. Headlines are to grab people's attention and get them to buy that paper and read that story. So - no blame for Keith on the headline.

    ...and while "discharged" might have been better than "sacked", it means the same thing - as does "fired" or "canned" or "kicked out" or "booted out" - all found in the computer's Thesaurus....

  • Luv83864 posted at 11:56 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    The word sacked seems rather dramatic and not as respectful as it could. I also think this maybe didn't need to be front page news (if it was) but its important to inform all residents of the lack of professionalism and respect.

  • Corey Greve posted at 11:21 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 969

    Now, if Mr. Kinnaird would just do an expose' on the issue with West side fire district's Chief and the old guard protecting his interests.

  • skippy posted at 10:48 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    skippy Posts: 22

    IdahoGal, I concur with your support of Keith for covering this news item. The Bee is the official news source for all of Bonner Co. and Dover is still in the county. To say that the alleged forcible removal, ie "assault" upon an elected official and alleged altering of content to public documents by a public official is not newsworthy is silly. The unanimous 4-0 dismissal vote should give an indication of the serious nature of the situation. A clerk is not terminated because they feel harassed by elected officials who had to go to the extreme of filing public records requests to obtain city records needed by them to inform themselves before making decisions. Whether it is on a local or national level, leadership or lack thereof is at the heart of the matter. Folks need to know whats going on in their community, Thanks again, Keith

  • IdahoGal posted at 10:05 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    Beck: Have you ever posted that news stories (and they ARE news stories) of the dysfunction in the Bonner County Commissioner's office is just more "scandal"? Even if you have, I beg to differ. It is the only way constituents of any level of government become aware of how their government is functioning - or in both of the cases mentioned, not functioning in a positive way. It gives voters information that becomes particularly valuable at the next election as well as some insight into perhaps why particular decisions are made....

    Thank you, Keith, for exposing the current level of dysfunction in Dover government! This is important information.

  • Beck posted at 4:23 am on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

    Beck Posts: 2

    @ Keith, I really thought the Daily Bee had finally gotten a professional correspondent. I guess I was wrong, coverage of this kind of " news" just put this newspaper back into the scandal rag it is so well known for.

  • IdahoGal posted at 11:16 am on Sat, Dec 1, 2012.

    IdahoGal Posts: 76

    Seems as though city clerks don't last long in Dover....just sayin