Elkins Council hears grievances from employees

Elkins City Council met in executive session for almost five hours Tuesday during a special call session dealing with employee grievances.

Ten city employees attended the meeting and were eventually invited one by one to take part in an executive session. No vote or action was taken following the marathon session.

The only item on the meeting agenda was a listing under “new business” described as a “personnel matter related to employee grievances.” Immediately after the meeting began at 6 p.m., 3rd Ward Councilman Mark Scott, chairman of the personnel committee, called for an executive session citing attorney/client privilege. Mayor Van Broughton and council members met with city attorney Geraldine Roberts until 6:25 p.m. After the session, no action was taken.

Scott then made a motion for a second executive session regarding a personnel matter. At this point, the mayor and council members met with Roberts and operations manager Bob Pingley.

Pingley emerged from the session alone within 30 minutes and then City Clerk Sutton Stokes began asking the employees one by one to go into executive session chambers.

The council recalled Pingley into the executive session between most of the employee interviews. This pattern continued for hours, without any appearances by council members or announcements to the public.

Finally, at 10:45 p.m. – four hours and 42 minutes after the start of the first executive session – City Council emerged from chambers. Broughton slammed his gavel and announced no decisions were made in executive session. When he asked council for a motion, no motions were made.

However, Scott said he had some words to share.

“Thank you to everyone for their patience,” he said. “We will continue to process through your comments.”

After Scott’s remarks the meeting adjourned. The city employees declined to speak with The Inter-Mountain about their grievances. They were not identified by name during the meeting.