August 24, 2010
LIMA — Two weeks after the leadership shakeup at the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority questions about what led up to the moves persist. Board members remain mum on the subject. Agency records provide few clues.
Board Chairman Lamont Monford said no timetable has been established to name a new director to replace Cindi Ring who was fired Aug. 11. The status of the agency’s maintenance supervisor, Traci Rogers, who was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 9, has not changed, Monford said.
A review of the personnel files for Ring, Rogers and former Assistant Director Daniel Hughes, who resigned in July, offer no ironclad explanations.
There are no reprimands or other disciplinary actions recorded in the files. There are also no indications from authority board members that Ring or Rogers were not meeting expectations.
While neither the board’s official minutes nor Ring’s personnel file include correspondence from the board expressing dissatisfaction with Ring’s performance, a letter in the file from an independent consultant revealed there was a rift on the board a year ago. The rift was revealed in a July 23, 2009, letter from Dan Cain, founder of an Iowa-based consulting firm that conducted a training session for the board.
“The real issue, it seems to me, is that some or all board members are not satisfied with the executive’s performance, and see the retire/rehire issue as an opportunity to voice that unhappiness,” Cain wrote. “The board must address the real issue. Do a good evaluation of the executive’s performance, and then determine if you still want her in that position or not.”
Board members approved the retire-rehire proposal from Ring on Aug. 31, 2009 — little more than a month after Cain’s presentation and letter.
Ring’s file indicates she has not had a performance review since 2006 when she was reviewed by other agency employees, not the board. The last formal review conducted by the board came in March 2003. Ring received marks that she “met and exceeded job requirements.”
Likewise, a review of Rogers’ personnel file shows no written reprimands or other disciplinary action. There is no notice of the paid administrative leave. The last review for Rogers, prepared by Ring in May 2008, shows superior or outstanding marks for performance.
Correspondence in the Hughes’ personnel file shows friction between Hughes and Ring. In a series of e-mails on Dec. 17, Hughes questioned whether he was being given the proper authority at the agency.
“I have been asking to [be] more involved with the decision making process and I am not sure what I am allowed to do around here,” Hughes wrote. “This has been an ongoing concern for me and I would like [to] discuss this with an outside mediator.”
The e-mails also show Hughes had “competitive feelings” toward Rogers.
“As [assistant director], I am not competing with Traci, nor should I have to compete with my subordinates; yet you continue to place me on the same level as them,” Hughes wrote. “I do not like injustice! I think we have systematic inequities that need to be addressed.”