Attorney Scott Crook speaks regarding the termination of Leslie Bolinder.
On June 2, 27.5 years of service to Emery County from Leslie Bolinder came to an abrupt end as she was terminated by the present board of Emery County Commissioners.
The termination came during the commission meeting on Tuesday, June 7. A proposed resolution amending Title 1, Chapter C, of the County Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual was motioned, seconded and approved by the three commissioners. This was required to facilitate the termination.
Attorney Scott Crook works with cities, towns and counties reviewing policy and procedure manuals to make sure they are compliant with state law. He reviewed the manual for Emery County about nine months ago and suggested changes related to this matter. Commissioners felt they needed time to study the manual and tabled the motion. Crook returned on June 7 and once again made the recommendations to change all department heads and the secretary of the commission to at-will employees. This means that all employees who are not at management level won’t be terminated, but upper level positions at the executive level should change with new administrations. Crook stated that Emery County was one of very few counties that have not adopted this policy and had several career employees. Crook recommended that Emery County adopt this policy and follow state statutes. This executive secretary position will be filled with three, part-time assistants, one for each commissioner.
Concerned citizens spoke about the inability to coordinate the commission with the new situation. Another citizen wondered about the economics of replacing one, 40-hour secretary with three, 20-hour secretaries. Also, the confidentiality of the position spread between three individuals was a concern. Some wondered why take action now but not last September when first recommended. The comment was made that it seemed ”poor management and a bad idea.” There was also concern about the transparency of this action. Previous commissioners, and attorney and peer employees were in attendance to support Bolinder but made no comment.
ETV 10 News reached out to the three commissioners. Commissioner Keith Brady chose not to comment as did commissioners Ethan Migliori and Paul Cowley, both of whom declined through the temporary secretary in the commission chambers.