The Haines Borough Community and Economic Development director has resigned after an alleged disagreement with another borough employee.
Bill Mandeville resigned Wednesday morning, effective immediately, after less than six months on the job.
Borough manager Dave Sosa issued a statement saying there is a disciplinary investigation related to Mandeville’s departure involving another employee. Sosa said he will issue a statement after he completes the investigation.
Mandeville provided to media his description of the events that prompted his resignation. He alleges he was verbally assaulted by another borough employee on Monday. Mandeville says the disagreement was over his work on a proposal to waive cruise ship docking fees. He’s been working on that proposal with the tourism department and Tourism Advisory Board. The proposal goes before the commerce committee on Thursday.
Mandeville says the incident triggered an episode of vertigo and he went home. The next morning he sent Sosa an email with his resignation. He offered to return to work if Sosa could offer assurance that a similar incident would not occur again.
Mandeville says after a phone conversation with Sosa he was planning on returning to work Wednesday. But then he was told his resignation had been accepted, effective immediately.
Mandeville says he wanted to work in a “collegial environment” with mutual respect and teamwork but says, quote “those are things I didn’t get.”
A statement from Sosa says the borough can’t discuss the incident publically because it is a personnel matter.
Mandeville began work at the borough in February. He came to Haines from Washington State where he worked for the Department of Commerce. He owns a home in Tumwater, Washington and says he and his wife plan on returning there in the next few days.
In his time with the borough, Mandeville worked on projects including developing a memorandum of understanding with the Friends of Mosquito Lake School for community use of the building. He drafted a proposal to develop the school building into an agricultural business incubator. He wrote a public participation plan for the borough which outlined of how the government can engage the public in decision making.
In terms of the cruise ship waiver proposal that Mandeville worked on, the idea is still going forward. Commerce committee chair George Campbell says the resignation will not affect the committee’s work on the proposal.
The community and economic development director position was created in last year’s borough budget. Mandeville was chosen from a pool of five applicants interviewed for the job.