Anti-Social Media

By: 
Ethan Brogan

Several employees in Glenrock Town Hall have been trying to address a recurring problem: abuse and bullying on social media by the relative of a town councilman. Outgoing Town Clerk Jaime Reid told the Glenrock Town Council Aug. 14 about Facebook posts that, in her opinion, are, at a minimum, inappropriate.

In a prepared statement, Reid spoke about her time serving in Glenrock and the relationships and practices of some council members. Her final day as town clerk is Sept. 8.

“Had I known then what I know now, I would have been much more vocal and put a stop to many of the inappropriate and disrespectful comments made by certain members of the council over time, for that Mayor Frank, I apologize,” Reid said.

She discussed the representation and candor a councilman needs to efficiently govern a town. She then singled out Councilman Dennis Flynn, who’s wife has allegedly blasted town staff, the town and council on Facebook even after the issue was raised previously.

“When those values are lost, for example, councilman Flynn, when your wife constantly attacks town administrators and bashes the town on Facebook, then you are left with little to no respect from your fellow
councilmen, municipal staff or the public,” Reid said.

During Monday’s town council meeting, Reid’s concerns were echoed by outgoing Public Works Director Randy Rumpler, who, likewise, directed them at Flynn.

“We have been bashed on social media by your wife,” Rumpler said. “It’s outrageous this is going on, and I think it needs to stop.”

“I can’t speak for her,” Flynn replied. “You ought to talk to her about it, not me.”

The Facebook posts were made under the name of Wendy Brush, the name of Flynn’s wife.

After Jaime and Randy spoke up about Brush’s posts in town council, she replied through Facebook.

Below is her post verbatim: In an interview with the Independent, Brush said feels she has every right to speak her mind regarding Glenrock’s government.

“A lot of our town people don’t go to these meetings,” Brush said. “I have every right to voice my opinion, and there is a lot going on that nobody ever talks about.”

Brush is unable to attend most meetings due to a disability, she said. Instead, she and an average of 170 other viewers, watch the Facebook live broadcast. Brush usually writes a post after the meeting.

In Brush’s post from Aug. 4 she wrote verbatim, “This person was told after the meeting Tuesday the person that was being asked about their job that a lawyer was being talked to in my opinion this person is getting paid by the citizens of this town and if this persons hollers that every question asked is a personal attack maybe this person needs to find another job.”

When asked about defining “this person” or when the idea of a lawyer being brought up, Brush replied, “I can’t talk about that right now.”

Brush maintains Flynn does not read her posts and has no input on them or provides documents.

Flynn, however, admitted he allows Brush to read documents he brings home from the council, but, he says he does not give her access to executive session information. In a joint interview, Community Development Director Kasey Drummond, Town Treasurer Andrew Sibai and Reid said the behavior of Brush is a reflection of Flynn’s conduct and how the council works.

“They don’t want to work together with us. They should be our leaders and mentors,” Sibai said. “They are totally unprepared, apathetic.”

“It has been going on too long. I don’t think social media is a place to bash the public, Jaime, Kasey, anybody,” Rumpler said.

Reid’s statement to the council addressed its behavior and conduct: “Gentlemen, as a council person, you are individually responsible and you serve as role model for this community. You’re accountable for what you say and do, your family members are accountable in this regard as they are a reflection on you and what you represent.”

This idea of being a community role model is instilled in the “Effective Meeting Procedures and Techniques,” a handbook for municipally elected officials from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities. This idea was previously outlined for council members in two classes concerning ethics and council behavior taught by town staff.

Under the sanctions section, it reads: “Council members who intentionally and repeatedly do not follow proper conduct may be reprimanded by the council. Serious infractions could lead to conflict of interest violations, as defined by Wyoming State Statutes.”

During the class, Reid and Drummond said they were met with “disinterest.”

“No involvement in the training,” Reid said, “no reaction. It was just blank stares.

Category:

Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:
207 S 4th, Glenrock, WY 82637

Mailing Address:
PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633

Phone: (307) 436-2211

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