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Editorial: MUC has decision to make Monday

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The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission Monday meets to consider an attorney's report on an investigation of General Manager Bruce Gomm.

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The general manager was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 12 by a 6-1 vote of the MUC Commission on a Dave Baker motion for an investigation of possible misconduct of a utility employee. Gomm's administrative leave has twice been extended for an additional 30 days while an investigation was completed.

Thus, the commission faces a decision on Monday. It may take one of several actions.

* Remove Gomm from administrative leave and return him to work.

* Terminate Gomm from his position for cause.

* Remove Gomm from his position without cause and pay, per the terms of his city contract, one year's salary and 12 months of medical and life insurance coverage.

* Reach a settlement with Gomm for him to leave.

The commission's decision may have already decided as one commissioner has already said on Dec. 12 that a replacement would be hired in 3-6 months.

The commission should consider the report's content before making a decision. We should hear more on the report Monday as Gomm has requested the commission's consideration of the report be conducted in an open meeting.

Monday may not be the final chapter in the current MUC saga.

Since Gomm has been placed on administrative leave on Dec. 12, the MUC has terminated two employees. Both are Mormons and both were members of minority classes. If Gomm is terminated Monday, he would be the third individual Mormon terminated in the past three months.

We are not commenting on the individual terminations, but overall it does not look good from an equal opportunity employment perspective.

Frankly, it also looks like a discrimination and/or hostile work environment lawsuit just waiting to happen. If that happens, it could prove expensive in defense and/or settlement costs. This would be, in turn, would be costly to the city and, ultimately, the taxpayers.

These two recent firing appear to be just another sign of the continued dysfunction within the Municipal Utilities and its commission.

This dysfunction all needs to be resolved as it is costing the Municipal Utilities, the city and its taxpayers with each passing week.

Finally, this Municipal Utilities crisis is hurting the city of Willmar's image and does not reflect well on any leader and/or individual involved.

The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission Monday meets to consider an attorney's report on an investigation of General Manager Bruce Gomm.

The general manager was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 12 by a 6-1 vote of the MUC Commission on a Dave Baker motion for an investigation of possible misconduct of a utility employee. Gomm's administrative leave has twice been extended for an additional 30 days while an investigation was completed.

Thus, the commission faces a decision on Monday. It may take one of several actions.

- Remove Gomm from administrative leave and return him to work.

- Terminate Gomm from his position for cause.

- Remove Gomm from his position without cause and pay, per the terms of his city contract, one year's salary and 12 months of medical and life insurance coverage.

- Reach a settlement with Gomm for him to leave.

The commission's decision may have already decided as one commissioner has already said on Dec. 12 that a replacement would be hired in 3-6 months.

The commission should consider the report's content before making a decision. We should hear more on the report Monday as Gomm has requested the commission's consideration of the report be conducted in an open meeting.

Monday may not be the final chapter in the current MUC saga.

Since Gomm has been placed on administrative leave on Dec. 12, the MUC has terminated two employees. Both are Mormons and both were members of minority classes. If Gomm is terminated Monday, he would be the third individual Mormon terminated in the past three months.

We are not commenting on the individual terminations, but overall it does not look good from an equal opportunity employment perspective.

Frankly, it also looks like a discrimination and/or hostile work environment lawsuit just waiting to happen. If that happens, it could prove expensive in defense and/or settlement costs. This would be, in turn, would be costly to the city and, ultimately, the taxpayers.

These two recent firing appear to be just another sign of the continued dysfunction within the Municipal Utilities and its commission.

This dysfunction all needs to be resolved as it is costing the Municipal Utilities, the city and its taxpayers with each passing week.

Finally, this Municipal Utilities crisis is hurting the city of Willmar's image and does not reflect well on any leader and/or individual involved.

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