By Sean Rice
Celina City Council will consider legislation tonight to provide Sue Canary, former community development director, with 12 weeks of severance pay.
Canary was terminated from her position by Mayor Sharon LaRue on March 1. As of March 10, when the severance request was discussed in a closed-door committee meeting, city officials said Canary is still an employee of the city.
Personnel and finance committee members discussed Canary’s request in executive session after a few council members received a letter from her requesting 24 weeks of severance pay.
The Daily Standard request to view the letter was granted by council member Rick Bachelor this morning.
Canary argues that 24 weeks of severance pay is justified because she provided services to the city for 24 years, the letter states. The paid period would allow her sufficient time to find other employment after her abrupt dismissal.
“Due to the diverse projects I worked on for the city, the experience and knowledge I have gained, my job search will be time consuming in order for me to find a position where I can put my skills to good use,” Canary writes.
Those skills have helped bring the 423 new acres into city, several new industries and nearly $2 million in grant and other incentive funding, she states. Canary points out she worked for six mayors, three safety-service directors and three community development directors.
“During my tenure, I devoted myself totally to the betterment of the community and to helping the administration reach their diversified goals,” Canary states.
Canary was set to receive $58,000 in salary for 2004. The cost of insurance and benefits is extra.
The ordinance regarding severance will be distributed to council members at the 7 p.m. meeting tonight.
Members will also consider an ordinance that seeks to hire Kent Bryan, brother of council member Collin Bryan, as the new community development director/ city engineer.
Council members balked at the ordinance during the March 8 meeting because of the lack of public discussion. Also, councilors complained the contract was written as an engineer’s agreement, and community development duties were not spelled-out.
The new ordinance fixes the descriptions in the contract, but members have not discussed the plan in committee to pay Kent Bryan $4,800 per month on a contractual basis.