Stop Throwing County Employees Under the Bus and Making Them Scapegoats
Stop Throwing County Employees “Under the Bus” and Making Them Scapegoats
By Viola Davis, April 5, 2016
I recently viewed several news reports on the Wade Walker YMCA and Roy Wilson with major concern and disbelief because I knew some major facts were not included in the report. I am writing this article in hopes of making some corrections that will remove the appearance of making Roy Wilson a “scapegoat” and/or “throwing Wilson under the bus”. Wilson was not employed with DeKalb County when the decision was made on the YMCA construction.
The future move to build a library at Wade Walker Park also made us very uncomfortable with the manner in which this was reported. Both of these issues involve questionable actions of our local county government of DeKalb and clearly have cost the taxpayers and voters over $100,000. However, it is not right to place the blame on county employees such as Roy Wilson.
I also read the column wrote online and strongly disagreed with blame being placed on Roy Wilson, the Director of Parks and Recreation for the following reasons:
· The Public-Private Partnership agreement that helped with the construction of the YMCA at Wade Walker Park was voted on in August and September of 2008.
· The agreement originated under the administration of Vernon Jones, Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County. Jones had a totally different staff to include:
o Richard Stogner – COO
o Marilyn Drew – Director of Parks and Recreation
o William Linkous – County Attorney
· The September 9, 2008 Board of Commissioners business agenda and minutes will show that Commissioner May made the motion and Commissioner Ellis seconded, and the agenda item passed 6-0-0-1 to authorize the Chief Executive Officer to execute the Master Agreement with the Development Authority of DeKalb County and the Young Men’s Christian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc.
· Commissioner Elaine Boyer, Commissioner Jeff Rader, Commissioner Larry Johnson, Commissioner Burrell Ellis, Commissioner Lee May, and Commissioner Kathie Gannon voted in favor of the item. Commissioner Connie Stokes was absent.
· The contact person on this agenda item was Morris Williams. The agenda item was listed under Commission District 5 and 7.
· Marilyn Drew was the Director of Parks and Recreation until CEO Burrell Ellis fired her in 2009. Ellis hired Roy Wilson in 2010.
· The major decisions were made on the construction of the YMCA prior to Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton taking office in 2009.
· I was present during the Board of Commissioner meeting when the issue of the YMCA was discussed.
We are very concerned that placing the focus on Roy Wilson makes him appear to be “guilty” of a serious issue that he has no direct power to control. Wilson is a department head and must report to the COO and/or the CEO. Wilson does not report to the Board of Commissioners unless directed by his superiors.
The questions we are asking involve our legal department. Did anyone in our legal department provide guidance and/or warn our elected officials against building the YMCA in violation of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ restrictions? Where was our legal department during this year’s budget process when the decision was made to move forward with the library?
It is wrong to blame county employees and bypass the “true” decision makers. Did Roy Wilson give the report to Executive Assistant/COO Zachary Williams and/or ICEO Lee May? This would be Wilson’s first course of action. Wilson is not obligated to report to the Board of Commissioners. Zachary Williams is mandated through the Organizational Act to report to both the CEO and BOC.
Furthermore, Mr. Roy Wilson spoke of retiring long before the issue of the YMCA and the building of the Library came to light. It is unfair to make it appear that this was a sudden action Wilson did following these reports.
I am forwarding copies of documents that will provide a better understanding of what happened in 2008 with the construction of the YMCA at Wade Walker Park. Please view the attachment. I hope this will clear up any misunderstandings and restore Roy Wilson’s reputation.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 770-256-0034 or via email at UnhappyTaxpayers@gmail.com.