Vader Mayor Pro Tem speaks to the citizens
By Lynnette Hoffman
The City of Vader has seen some changes this past week. The mayor, Lois Wilson, has resigned and Mayor Pro tem Joe Schey has stepped up to fill in. Also, the City Clerk and Assistant City Clerk have resigned as well. In a recent letter to the Lewis County News, Mayor Pro Tem Schey reassured the citizens.
To the fine citizens of Vader,
I want to reassure you all that your city is operating normally. Despite any rumors being spread, the sky is not falling. City hall is open for business. Your city council is taking action to ensure that Vader continues uninterrupted operation.
In late December, as a courtesy both the city clerk and deputy clerk had made it known to the mayor that they would give two weeks notice to leave on January 2nd. This would have given time to advertise and hire for the upcoming vacancies. However, for personal reasons, the city clerk needed to leave immediately and her last day was January 3rd. Knowing that the clerk position needed to be filled immediately, the mayor, along with the authorization of two council members, hired a temporary employee to fill the clerk position. This person starts in the office on Tuesday, January 7th.
As planned, Vader will be advertising for both a full time City Clerk and a part time Deputy Clerk.
As of the afternoon of January 2nd, Mayor Lois Wilson did resign her position as mayor. This is unrelated to the departure of the office staff. She's getting married, moving, and has chosen to focus her time on her family. We congratulate her on the recent engagement and thank her for her service to Vader as both mayor and her previous years of community service.
As I've done in the past when Mayor Ken Smith resigned, I have taken on the role as mayor in my capacity as council elected Mayor Pro Temopore. The council will need to nominate and vote on a permanent mayor until the next general election takes place. All interested citizens should inform city hall of their interest in this volunteer position. Most likely, the council will announce the vacancy at the January 9th regular council meeting, then at the earliest nominate and vote for a mayor at the following meeting on January 23rd.
Regarding the office staff and their decision to leave, it saddens me to say that they are leaving mainly on grounds of their poor treatment by some of our citizens. For those following social media, that same hostility walks into city hall and attacks the employees. The hostile attitudes and personal attacks they have received were tolerated long enough, and they chose to leave. They are trustworthy, loyal, and hard working individuals, and their next employer will be lucky to have them. These are sought after qualities in both employees and volunteers. Once again, it saddens me that Vader could not provide a welcoming atmosphere to maintain employees of their caliber.
On a somewhat relevant topic, I'd like to address the use, or in this case, not using social media to communicate government matters to the public. Any government official, Vader mayor and council members included, are held to many legal standards. The Public Records Act requires that all documents created by government be archived for later retrieval. Posting to social media is problematic, as we don't have a reliable way to backup this information (or a dedicated IT department to do it for us) and puts your city (and the elected official personally) in legal jeopardy by doing so. Hopefully this explains why your city officials aren't responding in their official capacity to various questions on social media sites. They have attended their required government training courses and are doing as the training suggested to keep your city and themselves safe. For example, this prepared statement and communication in its entirety will be sent to city hall by me for archival purposes.
The best way to get answers to questions regarding city matters is to call city hall. The clerk will either answer your question or direct you to the mayor. City information can also be found at vaderwa.org and council meeting audio is usually uploaded to youtube.com/vaderwa by a volunteer within a few days after a meeting.
I'd like to again thank Lois, Jill, and Tammy for their service to this community. People like them make it a joy to volunteer for the City of Vader.
~ Joe Schey, Vader City Council