Created on Monday, 29 July 2013 Written by REUBEN MEES
Belle Center Fiscal Officer Cindy Longbrake has submitted a letter of resignation today, citing differences with Mayor Rhonda Fulmer as the reason for her decision to leave the position.
She walked off the job in June, threatening to quit but had not submitted a letter of resignation. Within days, council members had convinced her to stay. She has only been in the position since April, replacing Bill McCormick who also cited differences with the mayor as his reason for leaving.
In her letter to Mayor Fulmer, Ms. Longbrake cites alleged workplace harassment, bullying by the mayor, a request by the mayor that the fiscal officer write a letter stating that she “was not doing the job (the mayor) wanted (the fiscal officer) to do,” and health concerns about the stress of dealing with the mayor.
“You can only take so much and it has just been horrible,” Ms. Longbrake said in a telephone conversation today. She noted she would finish all tasks associated with paying payroll and handling water bills before the end of her final day Wednesday.
“You can only take someone bullying you around so much,” she said. “Everyone just said hang in there, but how much hanging in there can you do? I love my job; I love my town. It’s just sad you have one bad apple that can spoil the whole batch.”
Mayor Fulmer, who had not yet been made aware of the letter, said she wished the fiscal officer would have come to her with her concerns.
“You would think she could call me or talk things out with me instead of going ahead with nonsense,” the mayor said. “You don’t get things accomplished if you don’t talk things out.”
For more on this story see Monday's Bellefontaine Examiner.