The Parker Town Council opted to take no action regarding Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer at the May 18 council meeting. Following an executive session regarding her job performance, the council decided to table any actions until after the human resources investigation is completed.
Town Clerk Amy Putnam said the executive session and performance review were not done because of recent criticisms of Wedemeyer. She said they are routinely done every year for town department heads, and they are usually done before the budget process begins. She added other department heads will be having similar performance reviews soon.
Wedemeyer has been criticized recently over the departure of former Community/Senior Center Darla Tilley. Her resignation became effective April 12. In her resignation letter, Tilley said she was resigning “under duress.”
The resignation came out of a meeting April 7 Tilley had with Wedemeyer and Police Chief Michael Bailey. Tilley said she was informed of unspecified allegations she had “bullied people.” She added Wedemeyer did not provide any specifics, and she asked for Tilley’s “exit plan.”
Tilley said she had been a town employee for 21 years, and she had never faced disciplinary action.
At the April 20 council meeting, several individuals criticized how the matter with Tilley was handled. There was more criticism during Call to the Public at the May 18 meeting.
Lydia Lara said she had worked with Tilley as her assistant. She said helping seniors was Tilley’s passion.
“We created a wonderful place at the Senior Center,” she said. “That beautiful place is now gone.”
“What was done to Darla was wrong,” Lara continued. “The way it was done was wrong.”
Lara said that, contrary to reports given to the local media, the senior center is not functioning smoothly.
“It’s a mess,” she said.
Phil Lara noted how long Tilley had been working for the Town and she had not had any disciplinary problems.
“Was this her reward?” he asked.
Pointing to the action item on the agenda regarding Wedemeyer’s job performance review, he said, “The Council has the power to fix this tonight. It’s time to drain the swamp and restore integrity.”
Lois Moore said the council needed to exercise more oversight on the center and how the town staff is handled.
At the April 20 meeting, Mayor Karen Bonds asked the council to hire an outside firm to investigate personnel matters with the Town. She also said the Town needed to look into hiring an outside management firm to handle human resources. In addition to Town Manager, Wedemeyer is also Human Resources Director.