Communication Issues Plague Sandy City Leaders As They Try to Regain Public Trust
SANDY, Utah — Multiple investigations into the water quality incident continue to move forward, while communication is a point of contention in Sandy City.
At this week’s council meeting, Sandy City Council staff employees voiced their anger after they were taken off of a citywide email distribution list after the water quality incident.
This agenda item sparked a lot of angst and a lot of questions and debate, even among council members.
Mayor Kurt Bradburn said taking council staff off was a mistake, but he wanted to help council members by not clogging up their email accounts and he says there are trust issues too.
.@sandycityutah council staff says they were intentionally left off city email lists. @MayorBradburn says it was his decision, but he didn’t mean to leave staff off just council to better improve comm.
Staff mem. says if that’s true they should have been told to tell council pic.twitter.com/uRjFzphsA9
— Caitlin Burchill (@newsyCaitlin) February 27, 2019
“I just don’t like you making a unilateral decision about my email,” said city council member Kris Coleman-Nicholl.
“Well and you’ll forgive me if I’m a little tentative about what information I give you after you leak sensitive personnel information (to a local media source),” said Mayor Bradburn, referring to the decision to put the city’s public utilities director on leave during an investigation after the water crisis.
“Okay,” replies Coleman-Nicholl moving on to other orders of business, in one of many tense exchanges between leaders throughout the more than two hour long city council meeting.
The staff members are getting those emails again.
This small issue points to a bigger problem for Sandy spelled out by legal counsel.
“Everybody in this room knows there’s some dysfunction that needs to be resolved, so that’s why it’s important to stay in your lanes as it related to what the branches, and the roles of the branches of government that you have,” said Tracy Cowdell.
While Cowdell says oversight is important, leaders are now grappling with how to get along and gain the public’s trust again.
“Sandy City is a great city to live in, to run for office in, and we are blowing it by the stuff that is going on,” said council member Linda Martinez Saville.
Council staff also brought up some hiring concerns.
Council members tabled a budgetary oversight motion on the matter until next week’s meeting.
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