• Last modified 1784 days ago (Aug. 1, 2019)


Florence clerk asked to resign after 15 years

City officers give little explanation for termination

Staff writer

After 15 years as Florence city clerk, Janet Robinson announced her resignation in a letter that was read Thursday at a special council meeting.

Robinson was asked to resign July 24 by mayor Bob Gayle, but when he was approached for an explanation, Gayle said, “No reason was given.”

Robinson, too, said she received little explanation about her termination.

“He just said the council was making some changes,” she said. “That was all the reason I got.

“I didn’t see it coming. I knew they had issues with me, like everybody else who goes to city council meetings knows.”

Kansas is an at-will employment state, meaning that the employers may end the employment at any time, for any reason.

Robinson did not attend the meeting, but in her resignation letter requested three months of severance pay, her three unused weeks of vacation pay, and a copy of the 2019 audit report.

“To relieve my mind, I asked to have an audit on all the books,” she said. “That way I’m covering myself.”

The resignation was accepted 3 to 1, with councilman Trayce Warner opposed, but they all agreed the resignation was placed in Robinson’s personnel file, and that the severance package will be honored.

While the council accepted the decision, several community members expressed their dissatisfaction.

“They almost completely ruined the town, and this about was the last straw,” Peggy Estey said.

One community member mentioned there being more than one side to the story, but preferred not to go on the record.

Local business owner Sara Dawson, who was unable to attend the meeting, saw it the same as being fired.

“To me, that’s the same as saying ‘You’re fired,’ ” she said. “It’s just saying it in a nicer way.”

Heather Thiel, Burns’ city clerk, was hired as interim city clerk. When the permanent city clerk is hired, the candidate will have to be a resident of Florence.

Last modified Aug. 1, 2019