Two City Officials on Admin Leave

At this point I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  

From Channel 4 in Nashville, 2 City Leaders on Leave After Comments:

The mayor recently put Police Chief Ted Boyd and Human Resources Director Anya Ryan on administrative leave after Boyd told Ryan that an unflattering picture of a woman looked like her.

Sheesh.  I do know all these personnel issues grow tiresome.

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35 Responses

  1. I thought they had harrassment training a few weeks ago…didnt they kearn anything? Are the big good ole boys trying to get rid of the new HR Manager since she is trying to do her job and turn the city around?

  2. And thus my problem with “zero tolerance.” Was this intended to harrassment or a joke? My co-workers and I joke about thinkgs like this all the time, we’ve worked together for about 10 years.

    Has anyone read the book “Farenheit 451?” Sounds like this is where we’re headed. Just say “hello” when you see a co-worker in the hall and then move on. Don’t try to develop any sort of friendship with your co-workers…

  3. I’m curious to know who reported it? Did Anya? If she didn’t, is anyone else business on what was said? Ridiculous

  4. As usual, there is a lot more going on than most people know. There is a difference between trying to correct things (we all know it’s needed) and coming into the new job demanding/threaten people. Perhaps the person investigating the issue between Ted and Anya needs to expand there scope into the new employee and why she came to the City.

    • There is more going on than most people know. I did not come into a new job demanding and threating people. I was told by the mayor to put my foot down. I was hired by the MAYOR to do a job and then he did not want it done.

      • oh I know there is so much going on within the city and they just dont want it to be known.

        if i was you I would let it all be known. call the news people. I know some at the local paper here.

  5. As HR Director I was told by Ronnie Erwin to clean things up. When I tried to do my job I was not allowed. The GOOD OLD BOYS don’t want this city cleaned up. They just want their lies and deceit.

  6. Mark,

    Who ever you are thank you. Let me know all of the news people names. If you don’t want to post it here we can figure something out. Thanks. AJ

  7. Ms Ryan, aka New Yorker, did push people around, contrary to her comments.

    She repremanded someone for wearing cotton pants with 5 pockets, stating they were jeans. Then she wore black jeans and a hoodie herself. She repremanded employees for parking in the back. She said that was for resident’s parking. Then she had a special sign placed in the back for Human Resources parking. She was talking out of one side and doing another.

    Employees had great hope for her when she started. However, from what I’m told, she brought her NYC attitude into the department and tried to push her agenda on the Board as well as the employees. And that just doesn’t cut it apparently.

    I do not know her personally, but I can tell you I have a couple of friends who work at city hall and they are happy to see her go. Maybe the next HR director won’t be hired as quickly and will work with the employees and the board, not against them, making her power hungry.

  8. NYC attitude — COMES WITH 911 AND HAVING A HUSBAND SHOT AND KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. WHEN TN GOES THROUGH 09-11 COME TALK TO ME.

  9. This is all very interesting to read. I don’t know any one in city hall so I’m just going to interpolate the comments here into one big thought:

    -New yorker, you heard the mayor say clean house, and so you proceeded as you saw fit; however, it sounds like your cleaning up meant being bossy and not truly instituting changes in policy.

    The pants comment is interesting. If you truly did reprimand someone for inappropriate dress, and then the next day dressed in the same fasion so you could take pictures, then you failed at leading by example. I don’t know what kind of pictures you were taking, but if they were too messy to be done in a pair of khaki pants and a dress shirt, you should just keep a pair of cover-alls in your car for such an occasion where you are going to get dirty.

    I think you mis-understood the mayors marching orders. If he hired you to “put your foot down,” that doesn’t mean he hired you to be the boss. The Mayor and City Administrator maintain those responsibilities. My involvement with HR directors typically involves them creating policies for approval by management, and then notifying employees for not being in compliance with the rules. I’ve never heard of an HR person haveing the authority to reprimand an employee, and it sounds like that is the authoritry you thought you had,

    I’m sorry things did not work out for you, I really am. But it seems to me that both you and the city of La Vergne are both better off by going your seperate ways.

    As far as the comment regarding losing your husband and 9/11, I truly resent those remarks. 9/11 affected everyone living in this country. No, we did not have the towers burning within our sight, but life changed for all Americans that day. I am sorry about your husband, but as you can read on this board many people have lost loved ones, spouses, young children. That is not an excuse to treat people like dirt. Us folks here in the south don’t take kindly to that. We believe you love your neighbor, not throw salt in their eyes.

    The best leaders are those who lead in humility and in service. Telling someone what to do creates bitterness, teaching someone what to do creates success. I wish you better luck in your future endeavors.

  10. Michael,
    I can understand what you are saying. I was told by Ronnie something completely different. You were not there on the interview process. The day I wore the black pants was on a Monday while taking pictures of all the equipment that the city owns. Mary the supervisor and I had already worked the pants situation out. Ronnie said NO JEANS and honestly the pants looked like jeans. After Mary the supervisor and I worked it out everything was fine. I was upset about being told on one hand to put my foot down but then on the other hand not to do anything.

    I wish I would of known all the little secrets which will be coming out, because I would of never taken the job. I really don’t like being lied to on an interview and that is what happened. The City of LaVergne has some very good people and I have enjoyed meeting them.

    Since coming to TN all I have heard and been called is a DAMN Yankee. Is this the TN way? When a police officer at the City of LaVergne needed help I was the one that wrote out a check out of my personnal checking account.

    The only regret that I have I did not walk out the door sooner because of all the lies I was told on my interview. But I wish most of the employees the best.

    • “Since coming to TN all I have heard and been called is a DAMN Yankee. Is this the TN way?”

      Well, since you asked, yes…and no. I’ve lived here for more than half my life. Previously I lived in Indiana, so I’m theoretically a “damm yankee” myself. However, I’ve not ever experienced the kind of behavior you apparently have.

      Why? It’s all about attitude. It’s clear from the way you present yourself that you either feel you’re better than us, or have suffered more than we have, or are set apart from us in some way. We southerners face prejudice against us every day- we are constantly portrayed in the media as backward, redneck, stupid, etc, etc, etc.

      So when you bring that sort of attitude here, we’re like “Welcome to the south. Now please go home.” Either you’re going to live down here and be one of us and get along with us, or you’ll hate it here and feel like you’re discriminated against because you’re from up north. The difference is a choice you make- what attitudes you have and how you behave.

    • This is a bunch of poppycock. I have lived here 10 years after moving from the north and have never once been called a “yankee”. I learned that those kinds of terms like “damn yankee” are made up by people from the north to feel superior to the south. People in the south just don’t say it. So the fact that you make up this lie indicates that you are likely the liar in this situation, not the entire city of la vergne government. Michael nailed it. you clearly don’t understand what it means to be HR. You are not in charge. You support those in charge. And the fact that you couldn’t understand and act on simple orders from the mayor without losing your mind shows that we are better off without you. There are very simple ways to encourage right behavior without demanding write ups or grating on people. Buy a few management books and read them. twice.

  11.  Managed and supervised human resource department to achieve goals within available resources; plans and organizes workloads and staff assignments; trains, motivates and evaluates assigned staff; reviews progress and directs changes as needed.
    Provided professional advice to the city officials; makes presentations to councils, boards, commissions, civic groups and the general public.
     Communicated official plans, policies and procedures to staff and the general public.
     Assured that assigned areas of responsibility are performed within budget; performs cost control activities; monitors revenues and expenditures in assigned area to assure sound fiscal control; prepares annual budget requests; assures effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, facilities, and time.
     Determined work procedures, prepares work schedules, and expedites workflow; studies and standardizes procedures to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
     Provided leadership and direction in the development of short and long range plans; gathers, interprets, and prepares data for studies, reports and recommendations; coordinates department activities with other departments and agencies as needed.
     Issued written and oral instructions; assigns duties and examines work for exactness, neatness, and conformance to policies and procedures.
     Developed, implemented, and facilitated training programs for employees, supervisors, managers and directors to ensure that personnel are knowledgeable on core competencies such as harassment, performance appraisal, diversity, supervisory skills, Title VI, leadership skills and other City policies and procedures.
     Provided guidance to department managers/supervisors regarding disciplinary issues, advises managers on best approach for managing problem employees/situations while avoiding/reducing exposure to potential litigation and the significant time/expenses associated with litigation.
     Investigated and resolves harassment and other workplace misconduct complaints; recommends appropriate disciplinary actions. Maintained harmony among workers and resolves grievances.
     Performed or assists subordinates in performing duties; adjusts errors and complaints.
     Prepared a variety of studies, reports, and related information for decision-making purposes.
     Recruited, interviewed, and selected employees to fill vacant positions in the Human Resource Department.
     Assisted in the recruitment and job postings for other positions within the City.
     Planed and conducted new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organization goals.
     Kept record of insurance coverage, pension plan, and personnel transactions such as hires, promotions, transfers, performance reviews, and terminations.
     Participated in wage surveys, within labor market, to determine competitive wage rate.
     Prepared and administered budget of human resources operations.
     Prepared employee separation notices and related documentation, and conducts exit interviews to determine reasons behind separations.
     Assisted Department Heads with questions regarding employee discipline, ADA, FMLA, COBRA, HIPAA, FLSA, Workers Compensation, Safety, and personnel policy.
     Investigated complaints from citizens regarding employees. Contacts appropriate parties involved. Notified insurance carrier of any liability issues.
     Represented organization at personnel related bearings and investigations.
     Contracted with outside suppliers to provide employee services, such as training, employee assistance, or out placement.
     Planned and directed, implementation and administration of benefit programs designed to insure employees against loss of income due to illness, injury, layoff or retirement.
     Directed preparation and distribution of written and verbal information to inform employees of benefits programs such as insurance plans, pension plans, paid time off bonus pay, and special employer sponsored activities.
     Analyzed existing benefits policies of organization, and prevailing practices among similar organizations, to establish competitive benefits programs.
    PERIPHERAL DUTIES
     Recommended for adoption by the board such measures as may deem necessary or expedient.
     Prepared and submits to officials such reports as may be required or as deemed advisable to submit.
     Investigated accidents and prepares reports for insurance carrier. Filed and maintains liability claims for the City.
     Evaluates services, coverage, and options available through insurance and investment companies to determine programs best meeting needs of organization.
     Served as a member of the safety committee.
    This was my job description.
    It is easy to put the blame on just myself. I do understand your feelings. But I was not the only person to blame here. Ronne and Mark are just as guilty. I was told to get things in shape. Which I tried but then told something else.

    I feel sorry for anyone that takes the postion. Maybe they should just bring back Kathi Payne. The only regret I have after 3 weeks of hearing all the lies that I just did not walk out. If I was told the truth I would of never took the job in the first place. But as Ronnie said to me someone has to be the fall guy.

    The hostile work environment that was created for me was unbelievable. At least I can wake up now without being sick.

    I do understand your comments but until you walk in someone shoes and hear what they heard it is very easy to pass blame.

  12. Michael,

    I am not perfect but my heart was with the residents of LaVergne along with the employees of LaVergne. Please keep in mind Human Resources is always the bad guys no matter where you work.

    The City of LaVergne has so many hidden little secrets my heart goes out to the new Director. They are going to be faced with everything I was faced with.

  13. Ivy–Your comments
    Since coming to TN all I have heard and been called is a DAMN Yankee. Is this the TN way?”

    Well, since you asked, yes…and no. I’ve lived here for more than half my life. Previously I lived in Indiana, so I’m theoretically a “damm yankee” myself. However, I’ve not ever experienced the kind of behavior you apparently have.

    Why? It’s all about attitude. It’s clear from the way you present yourself that you either feel you’re better than us, or have suffered more than we have, or are set apart from us in some way. We southerners face prejudice against us every day- we are constantly portrayed in the media as backward, redneck, stupid, etc, etc, etc.

    So when you bring that sort of attitude here, we’re like “Welcome to the south. Now please go home.” Either you’re going to live down here and be one of us and get along with us, or you’ll hate it here and feel like you’re discriminated against because you’re from up north. The difference is a choice you make- what attitudes you have and how you behave.

    First of all I am no better than anyone else. I do not consider anyone that I have met in TN backwards, redneck, or stupid. First of all, not sure what a redneck is. We in NY do not call people rednecks. I have been in TN for 3 years and love it. I just don’t like to hear Damn Yankee. I do not take it seriously.

    If I hated TN believe me I would of left along time ago. I have met some of the most wonderful people in this state and have no regrets coming here at all. The only thing that I am upset about is the lies that I was told when hired.

    There are some wonderful people at City Hall and my heart goes out to them. I just hope that the next Director is not lied to. My heart also goes out to the PD and the wonderful men and women who are there. I have only met 6 people in the State of TN which I would consider them full of ignorance. But you will have that anywhere.

    TN is my home now and again I have no regrets. Still love the City of LaVergne and all of its residents and wish them the best. Not better than anyone in the US and never acted that way. There is only one person better than all of us and I think we all know who that is.

    Thank you for your comments and wish you the best.

  14. Story today detaling the firing of New Yorker axa Anya Ryan:

    http://www.dnj.com/article/20100430/NEWS01/100430005/1002/La+Vergne+mayor+fires+new+HR+director

    Looks like I was spot-on in my reasoning for why this played out the way it did – “No human resources director should be able to conduct investigations concerning fellow employees unless those investigations are approved by a supervisor — in this case the mayor or city administrator.”

  15. I was doing an investigation from employees of the police department who filed a formal complaint. Why don’t you read all my comments.

    When an employee writes a formal complaint it is HR job to investigate not the mayor or city administrator. You know nothing about HR.

  16. Michael,

    Since you know so much why don’t you apply for the HR Director job.

    • All I did was cite what the article says.

      You still don’t get it – Yes, It is your job to investigate certain matters involving HR, but NOT on your own personal whim.

      I am an IT guy, and part of my job is aquiring equipment. But if I went out and bought new laptops for every staff member, I would be in trouble with my bosses.

      My sister-in-law is in her last semester of school at MTSU, majoring in HR. I may encourage her to apply for this directors position :)

  17. I moved to LaVergne to be a put of not only the city, but to know the lovely people in LaVergne. I was very upset about seeing and hearing about this entire situation

    I love the employees of the City of LaVergne along with the residents of LaVergne. I just wanted to get out the wrong that is going on against our lovely residents. There are issues at City Hall which everyone knows about and is afraid to talk about because of retaliation.

    I was wrongfully terminated under the wrong grounds and I was very upset when I saw all of this. Did not mean to be in anyway. If I did not care about the City this would not have upset me the way it did.

    So far all of the posters please except my apologies.

  18. I did not mean to be rude in anyway to anyone. Again plese except my apologies. I will take responsible for things that I do wrong.

  19. Wow what a day. Ms. Ryan, my heart goes out to you. Chin up girl, so everyone can see your pretty face. You know exactly how to do your job well. But got hit directly by friendly fire. I had high hopes for LaVergne FINALLY having someone in HR that knew exactly how to BE an HR Director. And you were headed in the right direction. FINALLY but the ones who hired you were your biggest allies. Citizens WAKE UP! This year is the biggest opportunity to DO something about it. GET involved. Ask questions. Not to each other. Ask the current board! Go to a board meeting and see them in action. These are the leaders of this CITY. CITIZENS put them there. CITIZENS can take them out. GET to know them first! There should be a box put on the ballot that says “none of the above” like I said get to know them first!
    My prayers are with any sacrificial lamb! Ms Ryan you have nothing to be ashamed of ma’am. Hold your head up high. You tried.

  20. Jack,

    Thank you so much. Reading what you had to say brought tears to my eyes. Thank you again for your kind words.

  21. Jack,
    No way they will. They don’t know all the recordings I have. I am a good chess player.

  22. Chris,

    You are sadly mistaken. When I first moved here it was a woman at an employment agency that said so you are a DAMN Yankee. To bad you weren’t there. As far as HR if you have never been in it SHUT UP. Lets see if you were in my situation and your lied to and everytime you turned around stories changed. That is why I taped all conversations. I guess we will find out who the LIARS are. Please keep in mind in the State of TN you do not half to tell anyone you are taping their conversation. Again, when you are not in someone situation how easy it is to through stones. I am glad you are so perfect.

  23. Umm, I’ve lived here for 23 years (originally from Indiana) and never been insulted for being a Yankee. Teased, yes, but never out-and-out insulted. I’ve also worked in HR and employment law and it most certainly IS illegal to secretly tape conversations without the consent of all parties. I’m sorry you had a tough time here, but it sounds like you took the-bull-in-a-china-shop approach, which just won’t cut in it in a small Southern town (believe me, I made that mistake once myself). Whatever happened, it’s time to cut your losses and gracefully move on.

    Oh, and by the way, Ivy’s post above hits the nail on the head. Us Indiana folk gotta stick together.

  24. Sherry,

    Both you and Ivy are from the Midwest. It is very different. I have moved on and it is not illegal to tape conversations under TN State Law. You must be thinking about Federal.

    Right now all I care about is all the TN that have lost their lives, homes, and everything else because of the floods. That is what is important to me at this time and not the rest of this. Everyone should be thinking about those poor people and not the jokes at City Hall. It is done and over with.

  25. ?

  26. Where are MO’s remarks coming from????

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