HOLLY, Michigan – All matters are finally resolved for Holly village staffer, Gwen Walters after Village Council members approved a settlement agreement during a closed meeting session held on Aug. 23.
In March of 2010, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Walters was terminated by former Village Manager Marsha Powers for zero balances and credit charges on water and sewer services for approximately 23 village resident accounts dating back to 2005. At the time, Powers blamed the billing discrepancies for approximately $23,000 in uncollected funds.
An appeal was filed by the Teamster’s Local 214, the union which represents the village clerical employees, and employees working for the Department of Public Works, but was unsuccessful at the local level. The union then appealed the termination and all related discipline to the arbitration process. Additionally, an Unfair Labor Practice complaint was filed with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission on Walters’ behalf.
Earlier this spring, Village Manager Jerry Walker requested that council members agree to allowing Walters to return to work. On April 4, Walters did just that after her termination was modified to a suspension while the union arbitration process continued.
Last night, council approved the settlement agreement which reinstates Walters to her former position, and restores her employment benefits package back to March of 2010. Additionally, all disciplinary actions have been removed from her personnel file, and the settlement has been agreed upon by all parties involved.
“I’m happy to have this matter settled,” Walker said Wednesday. “While I didn’t work with Ms. Walters prior to her termination, since her return, I have found her to be very pleasant, and an excellent employee.”
Clerk/Treasurer Cathy Behrens serves as Walter’s supervisor and had similar comments to make.
“Like Mr. Walker, I’m pleased to be able to put this matter behind us,” Behrens said. “Ms. Walters is bright, articulate, and provides excellent customer service to the residents and businesses in our village – what more can a supervisor ask of an employee?”
Walters is equally pleased. “I’m grateful to Clerk/Treasurer Behrens for taking the necessary steps to address and resolve the billing problems, and am pleased to be back to work,” Walters said. Walters said she is also extremely appreciative to all those who supported her over the last year.