Coordinator position up in the air

Photos by Bob Volpe

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

 

Last Tuesday, the Woodland Park Main Street group held a public meeting to discuss possible changes in personnel.

The meeting was filled with heated opinions, but not much was finalized during the forum. Some Main Street members and business owners believe that all of the minutes from a previous meeting should be made public since no personnel issues were discussed. Others, though, feel that there was still too much said about possible personnel decisions and questioned what should be released to the public.  

The board then moved to discuss a possible change in personnel, a subject that has generated much controversy. They announced publicly that Main Street Coordinator Darlene Jensen was placed on a leave of absence by the city Of Woodland Park. The discussion then started as to exactly how the city’s personnel decision affected the Woodland Park Main Street organization.

Jensen was employed by the city of Woodland Park as the Main Street Coordinator, but also held the same role under the Woodland Park Main Street group, which has its own separate non-profit organization. 

There was first a motion to the board to retain Jensen as Woodland Park Main Street’s Main Street Coordinator. Another board member then wanted to suspend the board’s decision until after the city’s personnel process had been completed. After some discussion, it was then determined that since the Woodland Park Main Street was a separate organization, any personnel decision the city made did not affect  Jensen’s role as the Main Street Coordinator as far as the Woodland Park Main Street Board was concerned.

Even if the city made the decision to terminate Jensen as their Main Street Coordinator, she would still hold the same position with the Woodland Park Main Street group. The board then decided to have another meeting once the city’s personnel process had reached a conclusion, and Jensen was allowed on city property to attend the Woodland Park Main Street meetings. Jensen was hired as the first official main street program coordinator several years ago. This occurred shortly after Woodland Park was designated as an official Main Street candidate.   

Main Street is a state program, orchestrated by the Department of Local Affairs, aimed at revitalizing downtown areas economically and by preserving historic structures. Main Street can help generate many grants and can play a key role in putting towns like Woodland Park on the national map.