Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295.
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BREAKING NEWS: Appeals Committee Gives Response to Grievance Against County Manager
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The Appeals Committee held a public hearing on May 2, 2023 concerning Library Manager Rosemary Bunn's complaint of a hostile work environment against County Manager Brandon Rogers with a written response that detailed their findings. (Read the article below this one for details of that hearing.)

According to the letter that was delivered to commissioners, the Appeals Committee concluded that the complaint was "inconclusive."

They found this decision to be "very difficult with all the circumstances surrounding it" so to ensure fairness to both parties and future grievance complaints, they made the following recommendations to the Board of Commissioners "to be implemented immediately" in order to make sure that this situation is "handled properly" and address issues involving the County and Library before they escalate. They also made additional recommendations that need to be put into place for Due Process in future grievance complaints:

"1. The County seek out a Conflict Resolution Mediator not associated with the County nor its employees to address the situation between Library Manager and County Manager as well as both the County and Library Board.

2. The County adopts a policy that outlines specifically Hostile Work Environment Harassment.

3. The County adopt procedures and policies regarding how Future COACHING SESSION/WRITTEN WARNING/VERBAL WARNING documentations are conducted by ANY county employee against another county employee be witnessed by a non-county employee.

4. The County provides Employee climate surveys to be conducted at intervals as the following:
a. After the first 90 days for all new employees.
b. Every 6 months for ALL county employees.
c. Upon separation of ALL county employees.

5. The County establishes a Grievance Committee, guidelines, and procedures outlining how to handle grievances."

They ended the letter by saying, "While it may not be the outcome that you may have hoped for, we want you to know that your courage to make such a claim will no doubt be the catalyst for change and will hopefully lead to lifelong changes throughout the county and the relationship it has with its employees."

[Note from the Editor: The fact that this was not mentioned in the May 10, 2023 County Commission meeting today was somewhat disappointing, but hopefully that means that the county is working toward what has been suggested. There were obvious signs that there was an escalating problem between these two parties, and nothing was done to find a resolution. If a mediator is not brought in to help find to address the situation, it is going to end up in a lawsuit.

Thank you to these committee members for stepping into a nasty situation and doing the best that they could with what they had. The county would do well to examine and look at how to implement their suggestions. Especially with ordinance changes.]

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BREAKING NEWS: Appeals Committee Hears Grievance Against County Manager
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - A grievance hearing was held in the Pike County Courthouse main courtroom on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 9 a.m. Library Director Rosemary Bunn placed a complaint against County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers for a hostile work environment. The meeting was advertised so the public was in attendance as well as several of the commissioners.

Everyone was seated at the same table up front with the members of the Appeals Committee facing away from the audience. Library Director Bunn was seated beside J. Joel Edwards Public Library Chairman Anthony Vinson. County Attorney Rob Morton was seated next with CM Brandon Rogers beside him.

On the other side of the table were Appeals Committee members Rufus Clemmons, Rob Weaver, and Teri Totten. All were appointed by the Board of Commissioners in a previous meeting. County Clerk Angela Blount was seated next to them taking notes though there was no digital recording made of the meeting. A written response will be given to commissioners and participants within 7 days.

[Note from the Editor: I have tried to keep my comments in blue to a minimum on this article and will follow up on it in depth after the report has been issued by the Appeals Committee. However, I cannot let this pass without saying that county desperately needs to revamp this section of our ordinance as well as the employee complaint section. At the very minimum, there needs to be at least a skeletal frame of what is expected of each party in a complaint like this, how the process will work both in and out of the meeting including a meeting protocol, what information is due to the other party and the Appeals Committee by what date, and whether it is a 7 business day or 7 day overall limit on getting the written decision back to everyone involved.]

Library Manager Rosemary Bunn

“Over a year I have lived in fear of losing my job,” Bunn said. She advised that an incident on February 15 left her “shaken and emotionally spent.” She said that no one should be subjected to “such abuse and disrespect” and that was time that his behavior toward her be brought to light and that hopefully he will be subjected to disciplinary actions “deemed appropriate by this committee.”

She filed grievance under Pike Personnel Policy. The policy was read aloud from Pike County’s Personnel Policy at 36.23(C)(2) which can be found at www.pikecoga.com/ordinances.html and reads as follows: “Inappropriate, unprofessional or harassing actions causing an employee to feel intimidated or threatened in his or her work place to the extent the employee believes his or her employment status may be unreasonably in jeopardy unless actions outside the scope of his or her job description are performed.” It was noted that this is a subsection of the county’s sexual harassment policy but plainly stated that it was the only section of county policy that cites a hostile work environment and that she was “making no allegations or accusations of a sexual nature.”

She said that she would love to provide other witness testimony but that doing so would place these witnesses in fear of losing their jobs for as long as Rogers remains county manager.

She then provided a copy of her job description and other information in a notebook for each of the members and the county. Click here to read Bunn’s job description from her contract with the library: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunnjobdescription5.8.23.pdf.

She said that she is guided by the Flint River Regional Library System (FRRLS) and the Library Board as well as the county. Among these duties are to manage the daily operations of the library in cooperation with FRRLS policies and procedures; serve as a key contact between the public service and regional staff; supervise, train, and evaluate staff in all aspects of library service; attend FRRLS manager meetings as scheduled; and cooperate with the FRRLS director in representing the branch to the board and the public.

She went on to state that she is also guided in her job by the memorandum of understanding (MOU) written by County Attorney Rob Morton and signed by the county commissioners, FRRLS, and the Library Board which specifies the division of responsibilities between the three signing entities stating that her job position places her in a unique situation as the library “acts more as an authority than a department” because she has more than one supervisor and that this requires her to “adhere and abide by policies and procedures not under the direction or control of the county manager.” [Note from the Editor: Her emphasis, not mine.] Also said that she is guided by the Pike County Board of Trustees which meets quarterly to oversee the J. Joel Edwards Library and her job as the Library Manager.

Bunn stated that Rogers has expressed dissatisfaction with this and repeatedly advised her to ignore directives from FRRLS and the Library Board. She said that being asked to go against those directives means that she is being asked to perform directives outside of her job duties, and that when she has pointed out this out, he gets sarcastic and verbally abusive to her including when she has others with her saying things like, “Can the board fire you, Rosemary?” or “Can FRRLS fire you, Rosemary?”

She advised the committee members that he also told her that the county needs to consider severing the relationship with Pines and Flint River and that the library board is not needed.

She said that he has called into question her competence as a manager and “alleged that I was untrustworthy,” that he leans into her physical space, intimidates her, and makes her feel uncomfortable to the point that she is “no longer comfortable with him in the presence of any other county employee who might also be intimidated or subject to retaliation.”

She described a meeting last year attended by her and Library Board Chairman Anthony Vinson in which she said Rogers was verbally abusive, said that he didn’t trust her, and gestured at her “aggressively” with the point of a pen, said that she had caused him a great deal of trouble at work and at home, and made him look bad in front of commissioners at the 2022 department head retreat when she asked questions about her budget.

After that 2022 meeting, Library Board Chairman Anthony Vinson, a former corporate human resources (HR) manager, met with commissioners in an executive session and informed commissioners that he didn’t think that Brandon was a “competent people manager.”

Then she advised that was summoned to another meeting with Rogers on February 16, 2023. Said that due to his behavior at previous meetings, she requested that a third party be present. Brooke Gaddy from Pike County’s Human Resources was present at this meeting. Said that instead of a meeting, she was ambushed her with an “unexpected formal written warning” for unsatisfactory performance, insubordination, and failure to communicate. Click here to view the first warning: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunnfirstwarning5.8.23.pdf.

[Note from the Editor: I will cover this warning more in depth including all of the emails after the report comes out from the Appeals Committee.]

Bunn said that the charges were “unfounded and insulted” and that she refused to sign the form. His contention that she failed to follow his instructions on interviews for the library and that he was angry and abusive when she refused to sign the form. She said that she acted in good faith and did nothing wrong or rebellious. She said that the library was short-staffed and that she was working to fill open positions there with best candidates as quickly as possible.

Chairman Vinson again wrote commissioners about Rogers’ lack of empathy and leadership. Bunn said that she wrote down her notes from that meeting immediately after it happened and that the meeting “left her shaken.” Click here to read her written notes from this February 16, 2023 meeting: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunnrogersmeeting5.8.23.docx. [Note from the Editor: This complaint includes the “Are you lying to me?” and “Can they fire you?” comments.].

Bunn said that she has tried to appease Rogers over the past year while adhering to her job description and responsibilities from the Library Board and FRRLS. Rogers said that she is insubordinate, but she said that she is only trying to do her job with personal and professional integrity. She said that she has limited her interaction with him but kept him informed of library operations and that this has caused her much anxiety.

She said that he became antagonistic during budget discussion when she and the Library Board questioned him about violating the MOU with the library. Click here to read the MOU: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/libraryMOU5.8.23.pdf.

She said that Rogers attended the Library Board’s past meeting and that members wrote to the commissioners afterward to say that he was working to diminish the role of the library by “rewriting the MOU in his favor, severing our relationship with FRRLS, and dismantling the library board.”

Click here to read the letter that Vinson sent to Rogers on behalf of the Library Board after the April 10 Library Board meeting: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/libraryboardletter5.8.23.pdf. She said that Rogers has declined to address the allegation.

Bunn said that on April 10, she was again summoned to Rogers’ office about a March 28 injury. Said that she asked to bring Vinson as her advocate in the April 11 scheduled meeting but was told no by Rogers and that Gaddy would attend instead. After past meeting and fact that Gaddy reports directly to Rogers, Bunn said in her email, “Considering that Brooke’s presence in our last meeting did little to abate the situation, I do not feel safe without the presence of my board chair and am respectfully requesting that Anthony be allowed to attend this meeting.” Rogers refused. She then contacted BOC Chairman Briar Johnson to attend who was out of town and could not. She then contacted Commissioner James Jenkins who dropped what he was doing to attend this meeting with her.

Bunn said that she was ambushed at this meeting on April 11 with a second written warning for unsatisfactory performance, insubordination, and failure to communicate. Said that this warning was groundless and easily refuted. An accident occurred while she was attending a BOC meeting. She said that she received a phone from the employee as the Executive Session was beginning so she reported accident to the county attorney and made sure that the library was covered under workman’s comp. Since it was reported minutes after the accident occurred to the county attorney who was going back into executive session with the commissioners, she thought she had provided proper notification to the county. Click here to read the second warning: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunnsecondwarning5.8.23.pdf.

She arrived at work at 10 a.m. the next day when the library opened, and she and the employee worked through the claim. Bunn said that she made several calls to Gaddy and Rogers but did not leave messages even though she was not able to contact them by phone.

She said that, in the meeting, she asked Rogers for written procedures for reporting an injury in case there was a future incident but that Brandon could give not give them. [Note from the Editor: I will cover this warning more in depth including emails after the report comes out from the Appeals Committee.]

Bunn Request for the Committee

She said that he has created and fostered a hostile work environment per Pike County policy. She also said that he has bullied here, kept me in constant state of anxiety by making her believe that her employment was at risk unless she went against her job requirements, and that his behavior has been reported to commissioners several times over the past year but that no disciplinary actions have taken place to her knowledge. She said that this lack of oversight appears to have empowered him.

Bunn asked the committee to review the evidence and asked for punishment under Personnel Policy. She asked the committee to recommend that no future meetings between her and Rogers occur without a county commissioner present to supervise him and that all future meetings between the two of them be recorded and archived.

She also asked the committee to strongly recommend that BOC launch full investigation into Rogers’ treatment of subordinate and county officers especially women. She said that it was incomprehensible that she alone has been the target of his “anger, hostility, and retaliation.”

Bunn’s complaint can be read in full by clicking here: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunntestimony5.8.23.pdf

Library Board Chairman Anthony Vinson

Committee member Rob Weaver said that the committee is going to deliberate on the information included in the notebook. It was pointed out that the information included in the notebook was not given to them until that morning. Anthony Vinson said that he worked with Bunn putting this together until late last night.

Vinson said that he has 10 years of experience as a Human Resources and Leadership Trainer for a publicly traded corporation and is a graduate of the Bell Institute of Leadership.

He said that he has witnessed behavior that he described as “atrocious” and that it is not the type of leadership that one would expect from a manager to a subordinate. He emphasized that he is not anti-Brandon, but that he is pro-people and that people should be treated with empathy, respect, and kindness and has seen little of that with Rogers and Bunn.

He said that he has seen Rogers verbally abuse Bunn by calling her competence into question as a manager and heard Rogers tell Bunn that he was personally responsible for troubles that he was having at home.

Vinson said that he coached Bunn in role as head of library board to cooperate and be a part of a relationship with Rogers.

He also that he had a 45 minute conversation with Rogers in December of 2022 about the same thing. Vinson said that the wanted to see a relationship between Bunn and Rogers for the right reasons. Vinson said that he didn’t think Rogers paid much attention to him in that meeting. He described Rogers’ behavior toward Bunn as “atrocious,” certainly not leadership-like, and that he told commissioners this during an executive session. He said that Brandon “is not a good people manager.”

Commissioner James Jenkins

Commissioner Jenkins said that he did not see hostile activity when he attended the April 11, 2023 meeting with Rogers and Bunn on the issue of workman’s comp. However, he said that the state gives 30 days to report it. He said while discussion was that it was not reported that night, she did report it to the county attorney that night. He also said that the employee did not choose to do workman’s comp so this should not have gone this far.

It shouldn’t have gotten to this point, Jenkins said. “I don’t understand why there would be a write up,” he said.

He advised that communication was discussed during the meeting attended by Gaddy, Bunn, Rogers, and Jenkins.

Natalie Marshall from the FRRLS

Natalie Marshall from the FRRLS was suggested as a possible witness, but she had not personally witnessed any of the behavior in this complaint so she did not speak.

County Attorney Rob Morton

County Attorney Rob Morton asked if Bunn was finished presenting her grievance. He said that the documentation from Bunn was not provided prior to this morning’s meeting, but it was pointed out that there was no formal policy to tell participants what to provide and when.

He also advised that Bunn was provided a written reply to her grievance from Rogers.

Morton said that they were there for the written grievance and not to address issues raised in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and relationship with FRRLS and the Library Board. However, a copy of the county manager powers and duties have been provided and he read them aloud. (Chapter 30.03 of Pike County code lays this out and can be read by clicking here: www.pikecoga.com/uploads/1/3/3/6/133643513/chapter_30_-_board_of_commissioners.pdf). He also read from the MOU about Bunn’s job position.

Morton said that he wanted to be very clear to the committee about the MOU and read aloud from the MOU: “Pike County will provide employees that will work at the Pike County library. As employees of Pike County, each employee shall come under the authority of the Pike County Manager and the policies of Pike County, including but not limited to, the Personnel Policy of Pike County, currently codified in Chapter 36…”

He then read aloud, “Currently, Pike county employes a library manager that will assist with the day to day operation of the Pike County Library, including the supervision and direction of the other employees working at the Pike County Library. The library manager will be subject to the direction, control, and authority of the Pike County Manager (similar to the department heads of Pike County). Under the direction, control and authority of the Pike County Manager, the library manager will serve as the liaison between Pike County, the Pike County Library and the Flint River Regional Library System.” Click here to read the MOU: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/libraryMOU5.8.23.pdf.


At this point, Vinson asked, “May I?” twice and said, “I’m a bit confused as you seem to state that it wasn’t to be considered and then you read from it. He continued saying, “Rosemary’s allegation is…” before being interrupted by Morton who said, “This is not an adversarial system.” Morton then advised that they had an opportunity to present their side and that he was “out of order.”

Morton then said that he clarified a statement because there was information given to the committee that could be “ambiguous” and could cause confusion and he wanted to be clear that the library manager is an employee of Pike County subject to the grievance procedure and is under the control and authority of the county manager. “Any further response is out of order,” Morton said.

Vinson said that he did ask if he could speak, and he was acknowledged. With all due respect, Morton replied, the affected employee shall be given the opportunity to be heard before the appeals committee and have representation of his or her choosing. Morton said that he asked the employee if she was finished with her presentation and was told yes. “We clarified the protocol and the relationship for the purposes of this committee,” Morton said.

[Note from the Editor: There were many times that discussion between committee members and those at the table was not heard in the audience, and this was not taped like regular county commission meetings so I can only write on what I heard and is on my tape recorder (that was back with me and not on the table) as well as the documents that I obtained through open records. I have voiced my dissatisfaction on not taping this public meeting because I think that it should have been taped for the protection of the employees involved, the Appeals Committee members, and the county.]

Then Morton told the committee members that if they wanted to hear from the county manager, that would be up to them.

County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers

Brandon Rogers said that he tried to take some notes and answer what he could, but it was all over the place. He said that he would be glad to answer any specific questions. He did deny these allegations--specifically allegations under the sexual harassment policy. He said that this has no bearing on this at all.

He said that in her letter, there were some conversations about them trying to work through these issues, but he said that she was not open to having these communications. He encouraged the board to speak to those in those meetings and ask their opinions on this.

He said that there is a “very biased side of this table against me” and that a lot of things were taken out of context and that is not “uncommon behavior.” [Note from the Editor: "Uncommon behavior" is what I heard both in the meeting and on my tape that was with me and not on the table, but if Rogers wants to correct that, I'll be happy to change that and quote what he said if he says it was different.]

He said that a grievance is supposed to be specific with dates and times and that the main grievance seems to be the MOU and the county. I understand that there is some question into that but said that the county attorney has just told you that there have been many conversations about responsibilities and that is very difficult for her to understand, he said.

He then said that he was not sure the conversation about his homelife was referring to and that it was irrelevant. Then he addressed Commissioner Jenkins’ testimony.

Mr. Jenkins said the employee has 30 days to report and incident. He said that was true for worker’s comp but said that his reason for the last write up was that there was no talk between the library manager and himself or HR about the accident happening. He said that has nothing to do with the grievance, but that is the reason for the write up.

He then said he was open to answer any specific questions.

Rob Weaver asked if he had any witnesses. He said that he had some people who would speak on his behalf, but that he had not asked anyone to speak. He said that he doesn’t like to put people in awkward position. He suggested that they speak to people not in a public setting so get more truthful or honest answers.

The Appeals Committee said that Bunn should be involved with that too. [Note from the Editor: Weaver had experience in HR that helped with this hearing. Morton did make a clarification later that says what needed to be done here and what needed to be done later.]

Rogers said that since the comment was made that there were no problems with past county managers, he encouraged the board to reach out to other county managers and said that there have been issues for years and years. “This is not something recent that has come to light,” he said.

Rogers Request for the Committee

Rogers email response to the committee said that Bunn’s grievance is made under a subsection of Chapter 36 Section 23 which is the Sexual Harassment Policy and that he denies and objects to “all statements of any such treatment, to all employees of the Pike County Board of Commissioners.”

He states to committee members that nowhere in Bunn’s statement is she asked to do anything outside of her job description as a Library Manager. “It is my opinion that Mrs. Bunn is upset that she has been counseled on her job performance and is seeking a form of retaliation.”

Rogers asked that if his denial and opinions were confirmed by the committee, he asked that a letter of apology be written to “both the Board of Commissioners and the Citizens of Pike County for the unnecessary negativity brought on by the false allegations.”

This email response was part of the record just like Bunn’s information in the notebook and was admitted into the record even though everything wasn’t read aloud. Click here to read Rogers' response to this grievance: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/rogersgrievanceresponse5.8.23.pdf.

What Happened Next

Morton said that there are no formal policies and procedures other than the employee being given an opportunity to present the grievance. He said Mr. Vinson has asked for another opportunity to speak and said that they can do that. He also advised that the only other policy is a written response within 7 days.

At this point, there was some discussion at the table (not loud enough for the audience to hear) that prompted a response from Morton that there are no policies and procedures on “that.”

Morton reiterated that this hearing gave the employee the opportunity to present this case to the appeals committee. He did say that there is no specific prohibition on the committee conducting further investigation but said that the intent is that it happens in here during the public hearing.

“Under the law of Georgia, counties will not be able to have a hearing related to an employee matter that’s in a private setting. It has to be in an open, public meeting,” Morton said.

Weaver asked if anyone would like to come forward to speak in support of Rogers.

Commissioner Tim Guy

Commissioner Tim Guy said that he thinks Bunn is a sweet lady but said that he saw where Brandon had stepped forward to handle some issues at the library and some things she needed to do, and sometimes it is hard for us to take correction.

Weaver said that he appreciated his opinion but said that if Guy didn’t witness the behavior, he appreciated his time and reiterated that this was about someone being an actual witness to the behavior being discussed here.

Brooke Gaddy from Pike Human Resources

Brooke Gaddy was present in the February 16 meeting between both parties and came forward to speak. She said she felt like Rogers tried to communicate and connect with Bunn by saying that we both have issues that we need to work on. Weaver asked, “So you had no adverse…”

She said that she felt like there was tension from the very beginning. She said that he said, Let’s talk it out, let’s work on our issues.

“I understand both sides,” she said. She then said the understood that Bunn felt that way and did not want to talk it out, but said that Rogers did offer to communicate.

Questions from the Appeals Committee

Weaver then asked Rogers about the Feb 16 meeting.

Click here to read it in full minus the redaction of names of those not involved in this complaint. http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/bunnrogersmeeting5.8.23.docx

He then noted and read from a section of Bunn’s evidence that read as follows: “When I told him that I had talked to [Redacted]: and she has a full time job and cannot work our hours, he asked, “Are you lying to me?” I responded, “Excuse me?” He repeated himself. I said again, “Excuse me?” and he repeated again, “Are you lying to me?” I finally said, “Are you lying to me?” I told him that I wasn’t trying to be insubordinate or rude, and I asked him if he could see how that question sounded condescending.”

Weaver asked Rogers to provide some clarification and context on this for committee members.

“There needs to be a little more context to this for sure,” Rogers said. He said that he was asking about why we had not done more interviews for the position. He said that Bunn was trying to rush into a position and hire someone that he had not met without doing multiple interviews that he thought were necessary.

The list of names contained those that he had asked about—whether or not she had hired them or talked to them. One of the individuals had a full-time job, another going to school. He said that he asked the question, if she has a full-time job, can she work within hours that we have available. He said that Bunn said that she was not available. He then asked if she had talked to her and was told again that she was not available. He said that Bunn was not giving him a straight answer so he said, “Did you talk to her?”

He said that is where that came from because he “consistently did not get a straight answer from her as to why she did not say that she talked to her and she cannot work those hours from 5 to 7 in the afternoons or not available on Saturdays.

Weaver thanked Rogers for that clarification and then asked Bunn, “Is that how it happened?

Bunn said that she interviewed several people and sent notifications to Rogers. She said that Rogers asked why she didn’t interview the people that he wanted and said that her notes were written “in the direct aftermath of that meeting.”

I had called her, she said. I told him that I called her and found out that she has a full-time job. We don’t have any jobs that require that you work on a couple of hours until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays or only on Saturdays. Bunn said that she was a very good candidate but could not work the 26 to 29 hours per week that are required for the job.

She said that she was shocked when told Rogers that this candidate told Bunn that she already had a full-time job and that is when he started shouting, “Are you lying to me? And I was taken by surprise. I did talk to her. I did tell him.” Committee members verified that Gaddy was in this meeting. She then verified that Rogers did say that he wanted to form some kind of a bond, but she said that in the context of this same conversation, that bonding can’t happen right after shouting, “Are you lying to me?”

Rogers then said that there was no shouting. He did confirm that he asked if she was lying to him and said that even with what she is saying, his question was, Did we offer to work within this lady’s schedule? Are we trying everything we can as a library to get the most qualified people to work there.

Next item to be addressed was where it had been noted that there was a huge turnover at the library over the past year. Pay mentioned as a factor. Weaver said that he doesn’t know about any written checkout policy when employees leave.

Weaver noted that Rogers asked to be a part of the interview process with the library. Have you done that with any other department? Rogers advised that he has not done this with any other department. He also said that he always sits in on final interviews for the library and has done that since the beginning when he was hired.

He said that it’s always been this way and that he has always allowed the department head to do the initial interviews, and he came in at the narrowing down of the last one to two people. Since there has been so much turnover and they have also started up some exit interview processes, he said that the feedback that they’ve been getting from exit interviews was not positive from the library so he asked to be more a part of the interview process.

There were a lot of individuals who were exiting who did not want to do anything formal. “I had plans to meet with the latest one who left but could not make that meeting,” he said. He said that he talked to her husband.

Questions were asked about how exit interviews are conducted. Rogers said that exit interviews are conducted with HR (Gaddy from Human Resources) and not him.

Weaver asked if HR had anything to say on this. Rogers said that she might if they called her back up but people usually come in and we ask them to do an exit interview and fill out a paper.

Weaver said that they have 7 days to do this so Gaddy could bring whatever written documentation to the committee. “We do not get very aggressive with the exit interviews,” Rogers said. He said that it’s an option, but they only ask one time.

Morton said that Vinson asked to give a response on the MOU from earlier in the meeting.

Weaver said the committee only wanted to address the grievance accusations but with Morton reading the MOU that he didn’t know that it was detrimental to Bunn. Weaver said that if Vinson felt otherwise, he could tell them now. Vinson said, “I leave it in your capable hands.”

Committee member Rufus Clemmons asked Rogers to respond to allegation about Bunn embarrassing him in front of commissioners, saying that he did not trust her, and pointing at her with the point of a pen.

Rogers said that he did not remember that specifically though he did vaguely remember the yearly meeting. He said that we didn’t do it this year but that in the past, managers talked about their department budgets and expressed their thoughts and needs to the board as a whole. “I don’t recall anything after that between her and I so I don’t know that I want to talk about it…” Rogers said.

Morton advised that this committee is an extension of the Board of Commissioners so what is done must be done in private. Something was said to committee members about the difference between a public meeting versus public hearing, but it was not audible to the front rows of the audience. [Note from the Editor: If Morton or Weaver would like to clarify this, I’ll be happy to include an addition in blue for readers.] The final approximately one to two minutes of the meeting was not audible to many members of the audience.

Morton advised that it was 10:09 a.m. and that the committee was adjourning the meeting. He said that we anticipate a written response in 7 days.

Exit Interviews

Pike County Times send the following open records requests to the county regarding exit interviews.

Open Records Email sent on May 2, 2023 to County Clerk Angela Blount read as follows:

“Pursuant to the Open Records Law, I request a copy of all exit interviews for all departments in Pike County from January of 2019 to date.

Thank you for your help on this matter.”

Reply May 3, 2023 from County Clerk Angela Blount:

“Per your open records request received via email on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 regarding Exit Interviews, I reached out to Human Resources and I received the following response:

The county did not start sending out exit interviews until 2022. The employees that we have sent them out to have not turned them back in.”

A follow up was sent on May 3, 2023 that read as follows:

“Pursuant to the Open Records Law, I request a copy of the following:

1) the original digital copy of the exit interview that is being sent to employees;

2) a copy of exit interview policy (I am specifically looking for something that says who gets this in order to ensure that it is ALL departments); and,

3) a copy of any and all documentation including emailed and/or mailed exit interviews with the names of past employees who have received them and did not return them. (There should be something in writing that shows where an employee was sent this particular piece of information on a specific day.)

If there is ANY question on this, please discuss this with the county attorney because I am looking for something specific AND in writing.”

On May 5, 2023, a reply was received from County Clerk Blount that read as follows:

“Per your open records request received via email on May 3, 2023 regarding ORR Exit Interviews Follow up, I have attached the documentation pertaining to your request. Per Brooke Gaddy, Human Resources, Pike County does not have an exit interview policy and Pike County does not have any documentation that the exit interviews were mailed or picked up.”

Click here to see a copy of the exit review that the county has available for employees who are leaving their employment with Pike County: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/exitinterview5.8.23.docx.

The metadata on this document shows that the content in this exit interview was created on February 18, 2022.


Pike County Times did as thorough of a job writing up this meeting as was possible without a tape of the proceedings as is normally done for county commission meetings.

No question was asked ahead of time about it so it was an assumption on the part of Pike County Times that there would be a tape of the meeting since it was advertised publicly and both the county attorney, county manager, and county clerk were at the table along with the employee and her representative along with Appeals Committee members.

The decision of the Appeals Committee is expected to be given to the Board of Commissioners and addressed as soon as possible.

Pike County Times will follow up on that as well as the emails that accompany the two written warnings from County Manager Rogers to Library Manager Rosemary Bunn.

[Note from the Editor: Pike County Times extends a huge thank you to county commission staff--especially County Clerk Angela Blount--for answering open records as quickly and efficiently as possible. I greatly appreciate the time and care that goes into answering my open records so the community can be informed as well as possible about what is being done on our behalf by our county commission.]

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