April 27, 2018 – The Executive Ad Hoc Committee of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County voted yesterday not to renew the Executive Director’s contract, an apparent reversal of last month’s decision. Joanne Drummond’s job title was changed to Chief Operating Officer for the remainder of her contract until June 30, 2018, but no new job description was provided.
As noted in the March 22, 2018 minutes of the previous board meeting, “Chairman Cassella announced that the board had voted to renew Drummond’s contract from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019 with changes to the job description.”
Also at that meeting, the resignations of board members David Hanson, Warren Knox and JoAnne Fites-Kaufman became public.
According to Dennis Cassella, the current Chairman of the Board, the Executive Committee voted yesterday to split the current job of the Executive Director into two positions: Program Manager and Grant Writer/Administrator. At this time, no specifics or candidates have been identified.
Cassella stated Drummond was the only constant staff in the Fire Safe Council organization for over 12 years. However, the Board felt it was time to reorganize and refocus the mission of the Fire Safe Council. “After consulting with our partners, who want us to focus more on prevention, we decided to take a good solid look at what services we provide,” Cassella said.
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Asked about sexual harassment claims mentioned in the Board minutes, he explained the Board had hired an HR consultant who determined that the claims did not rise to harassment. The HR firm retained by the Fire Safe Council is also under contract with Nevada County Consolidated. Cassella conceded other staff had complained about remarks made by some Board members and the entire Board will receive training on both the Brown Act and sexual harassment. “In the age of the #MeToo movement, there is no tolerance whatsoever on sexual harassment.”
Drummond declined to comment on the ongoing situation but said she had retained legal counsel regarding in light of her performance evaluation and other matters.