Councilwoman Sandra Kleven une...
HOLLY, Michigan – After five years of serving on the Holly Village Council, Councilwoman Sandra Kleven is calling it quits.
Kleven abruptly resigned Tuesday night following an executive session where council members discussed a letter written and submitted by a former village employee, allegedly criticizing Clerk/Treasurer Cathy Behrens’ managerial and “people” skills while on the job.
The former employee’s request that the letter be read into the public record was declined and the matter was discussed in executive session because the matter concerned an employee’s job performance, Village Manager Jerry Walker said.
Village employee Gwen Walters voiced her support for Behrens during public comment.
“I understand that there is a letter that has been circulating, written by a former employee at the village of Holly, and I don’t know the context of the letter, but I hear that it’s pretty degrading to Cathy (Behrens),” Walters said.
Describing Behrens as a competent person in the workplace, Walters said she has seen many positive changes in the office since Behrens came on board.
“We’ve gotten a new system, which was way overdue – a water billing processing system in place,” Walters said. “She’s still cleaning up messes from prior management and doing a very good job at it, and I don’t feel that she gets the support she deserves.”
Walters said Behrens has done “a lot of good for the departments, and a lot of good for the community.”
As for the reasoning behind Kleven’s hasty departure, Kleven said she was disappointed with the way fellow council members handled the allegations outlined in the letter.
“We have issues with morale in the village office,” Kleven said. “I know we, as council members, aren’t supposed to interfere with daily business operations, however, when it spills over to the public and comments are being made by citizens about the way they’re treated or the things the overhear village staffers discussing in the office, then I feel it is something in which council should become involved,” she added. “Several of the other council members didn’t want to go there – they chose to ignore it.”
Kleven, whose term would have ended in November, said she was not planning to run for re-election anyway.