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August 27, 2013
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Truckee rec/park board: Our job not to handle day-to-day ops

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District board will not adjust policy regarding how its general manager reports internal issues in wake of a recent grand jury investigation.

In a 3-0 vote at Thursday’s board meeting, directors approved a written response prepared by TDRPD general manager Steve Randall to the 2012-13 Nevada County Grand Jury’s June report on the district. Director Janet Brady and board chair Kristin York were absent.

Among the grand jury’s recommendations is the board require the general manager to report all issues, including those dealing with employee harassment, to the board. The district will not make that change at this time.

“The board believes the current process in place at this time is sufficient,” according to the response. “The district general manager currently handles issues including harassment on a case-by-case basis. If the issue has merit, it is then presented to the board of directors.

“The board responsibility is to make the policy of the district, not to handle the day-to-day operations.”

THE INCIDENT

According to the grand jury’s investigation, a district manager overheard comments in December 2010 that were perceived to be “harassment,” with the incident being verbally reported to Randall.

Randall met with the subject of the complaint about a month later, issuing a verbal warning. Some time later, the suspected harasser filed a written complaint of harassment against the employee who initiated the verbal complaint, according to the grand jury.

Randall reviewed the written complaint and met with all involved parties. The grand jury found a lack of timeliness in the investigation and settlement of employee complaints — a finding with which the district disagrees.

“The complaint that the grand jury refers to in their fact statement is not correct,” the response states.

The response goes on to say neither a written nor verbal complaint was filed by employees to Randall, as mentioned by the grand jury. Instead, a complaint was filed by the employee who was the subject of the initial complaint, feeling he was harassed because that incident was not reported to Randall by the employees, but their supervisor.

“When the secondary written complaint was filed, immediate action took place and the matter was resolved,” according to the district’s response.

The grand jury found Randall didn’t advise the board of either harassment complaint.

OTHER FINDINGS

The 2012-13 grand jury also investigated the closure of some piers and docks along Donner Lake due to safety concerns. A TDRPD employee told the grand jury there is no plan to repair the closed piers/docks, according to the report.

According to its response, the district “partially” agrees with the grand jury’s finding, stating that no “formal written plan” exists for district public piers. However, if a pier presents a safety hazard, it’s closed until repairs can be made, which are done in a “timely manner.”

Other grand jury recommendations include updating TDRPD policies and developing and implementing an ongoing evaluation process to ensure all facility equipment is in “good working order.” According to the board’s response, such recommendations are currently in place.

The district disagreed with a majority of the grand jury’s findings, including a perceived lack of open communication between management and the board.

“The general manager has an open door policy, which includes the board, staff and the general public,” the response states, among several other communication opportunities for board members.

The board had until Sept. 28 to formally respond to the grand jury’s report. Directors delayed issuing the same response in July to allow for additional review.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 27, 2013 06:41PM Published Aug 27, 2013 11:56AM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.