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Supporters speak up for Skeel

By August 25, 2011

Several residents and employees, current and former, spoke out at last week’s face-off between El Dorado Hills Community Services District General Manager John Skeel and the CSD Board of Directors, who are in the process of terminating him.

El Dorado Hills activist “Buzz” Nunn told the board he thought they’d lost their way. “I don’t think you gave him a fair opportunity, and you’ve granted subordinate staff unfettered access to you. You didn’t even give this guy a full six months. It’s unprofessional and an embarrassment to the community.”

Marina Woods resident John Duhe called it a no-brainer. “It sounds like the source of this issue is your human resources department. This is just one case. Pick up the Village Life tomorrow. There’s another one coming. We selected the best candidate of 70 and moved his family here. It sounds like he was undercut from day one.”

Former CSD employee Kim Grinnell called herself “another example of a retaliatory lay-off by Tracy Lynn.” She called on Director Wayne Lowery to “do the right thing,” and told Director Noelle Mattock to choose between her friend and her job. “You cannot have both.”

Ridgeview resident Robert Mulligan worried about a long and bloody legal battle. “My question comes from my wallet,” he said. “Can we seek arbitration on this?”

Former board member Justin Masters was the lone voice in defense of Human Resources Manager Tracy Lynn Lowry. “The HR director has the unenviable task of disciplining employees, the animosity you see here tonight … is part of the job.” He said. “But she also needs to let the GM do his job, and not undermine him.” He also asked Mattock to recuse herself from voting on Skeel due to her friendship with Lowry.

Longtime Design Review Committee Chairman Jeff Haberman said, “Boards come and go. Finding a good manager is a hard thing to do. You have a community that is very supportive of this man. You need to work better with him.”

Governors West resident Martin Powers suggested that Skeel didn’t receive due process. “There wasn’t enough verbal discussions, no written warnings, no performance improvement plan.” He told the board to “Move on. Make this work. Clearly that’s what everybody wants here.”

Nancy Sianez, wife of Recreation Supervisor Frank Sianez, called Lowry a “tyrant” and encouraged the board to investigate her. She also asked them to reinstate Skeel. “You work for me and I don’t think you are doing a good job right now.”

Longtime district employee Kent Malonson recalled a recent run-in with Lowry and asked “How are we supposed to work in these conditions? You guys need to do something about this and do it now.”

Parks staffer Terry Halverson told the board that communication and trust have been an issue for at least four years. “John attempted to rebuild that.”

Mike Roberts


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