A story about the resignation of Mari Metcalf from the Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District board incorrectly attributed to her information that came from another board member. Board President Tony Lloyd said the board is dealing with a harassment claim against police Chief Greg Harman by a clerical employee. Metcalf also said the board is dealing with a complaint against Harman from a district employee who has not been named but did not specify that it was a harassment complaint or that it involved a clerical employee.
KENSINGTON -- The board that oversees the town's police department will be minus a consistent critical voice with the resignation of director Mari Metcalf last week.
Metcalf announced she was leaving in the middle of her four-year term at the Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District board's Dec. 13 meeting. Her departure follows the loss of ally Cathie Kosel to incumbent Chuck Toombs and challenger Pat Gillette, a Toombs ally, in the Nov. 6 election.
Metcalf's and Kosel's criticisms of Kensington police Chief Greg Harman and the police department in general had grown increasingly vocal. They both had also fought publicly with Toombs over the way he ran board meetings, saying that he and fellow board members Tony Lloyd and Linda Lipscomb were overly protective of Harman.
Metcalf said she was angered that members of the audience at meetings were allowed to shout out when she and Kosel were speaking and that her allies were often interrupted when they had the floor during public comment periods.
Allowing this behavior violates the board's policies and procedures, she said.
"My term is not up for another two years, but I can't take the bullying anymore," Metcalf said. "I refuse to be a part of the governing body of this very mismanaged district."
Toombs said he did his best to maintain decorum at meetings.
"When people acted out of turn, I silenced them," he said. "(Metcalf's and Kosel's) supporters also presented a challenge."
Toombs said that, despite his differences with Metcalf, he was disappointed by her decision.
"I would have preferred that she stay on the board, but what would you have us say?" Toombs said. "We don't have a response, except we're sorry."
The board will put out a request for applications from the community, and the remaining four members will select Metcalf's successor from those who apply, Toombs said.
Lloyd was elected board president Dec. 13, replacing Toombs, who handed over the gavel after 3½ years.
The board met in closed session during most of the meeting to deal with five legal issues that included its garbage contract with Bay View Refuse and Recycling and an abuse claim from Kosel against the police department.
Bay View requested a rate increase earlier this year, saying that its rate of return under its contract with Kensington that expires in 2015 was not covering its costs. The board agreed to a rate review and said it would abide by its terms.
But Bay View insisted on two separate increases, and the case is in arbitration, Toombs said.
The board denied Kosel's claim in the other case, Lloyd said.
"She has said 'I want a bazillion dollars,' and we have said we need to look at this deeper," Lloyd said. "It forces it to the next level, some form of litigation or adjudication."
Metcalf objected to the fact that Kosel was mentioned by name in discussion of the dispute. The board also is dealing with a harassment claim against Harman by a clerical employee who has not been named, she said.