Clerk accuses South Weber mayor of defamation
Wednesday , July 23, 2014 - 3:25 PM
SOUTH WEBER — The letter South Weber utility clerk Kim Byram methodically handed out to each member of the city council during its Tuesday workshop silenced the group for 10 to 15 seconds as they read through it.
The letter called for the resignation of Mayor Tammy Long.
But before anyone could respond, recently hired City Manager Duncan Murray interjected, recommending based on the content of the letter that it be best discussed in a closed executive session following the city council meeting.
The three-paragraph letter threatens legal action against Long unless she apologies for statements she has made that Byram said defame her, and resigns as mayor.
“I think the letter is pretty self explanatory,” said Byram, who requested the council address the issue in an open meeting in offering the public full transparency.
But rather than do that, the council met behind closed doors on Tuesday, and in response to Byram’s letter offered the following statement to the Standard-Examiner on Wednesday morning: “Kim Byram has been and is an employee in good standing in the South Weber City Offices. (Byram) is the utility billing clerk and is training to become the front officer supervisor and a city justice court clerk,” Murray said.
“(Byram) is continuing to work for the city and is continuing to assist in training the city’s new employees,“ Murray said in a short statement, which said nothing about Long or any conflict between the mayor and Byram.
Following the public council meeting, and prior to the closed meeting, Long alluded to the fact that there is more to the story, but offered no explanation for what was contained in the letter.
But whether the city’s comments will appease Byram remains a mystery, because Byram immediately left the council workshop and city hall offices after presenting her letter to the council members. She did not attend the council meeting that followed the workshop. At each council meeting there is a public comment period made available for residents.
“I have two witnesses that are willing to testify that (Long) has outright accused me of theft and or falsifying documents within the city,” Byram stated in her letter. “Not only is this completely untrue and without validity, it has caused me a lot of embarrassment in the workplace and with the residents.”
"It has also caused me to not receive a much deserved promotion within the city office and now is affecting my current position to the extent that I am locked out of the programming needed to perform my work,“ Byram said in the letter.
Byram said if Long agrees that she has said these ”untruths“ and apologizes for what she has done, and resign as mayor, she would drop the lawsuit she is threatening.
”It is with great sadness and anger that I am forced to do such an action. I have completely gone above and beyond to help out this staff and the city after the chaos that Tammy (Long) has caused since being elected,“ Byram said.
The letter stipulates no timeline in which the apology and resignation by the mayor need to be addressed.
Since Long took office in January, the city has had three of its city staff resign and eventually take jobs elsewhere, including former City Manager Rodger Worthen, who left in March to take a job with Riverdale City. In one meeting, the city recorder and deputy recorder resigned on the spot.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.
See Also: S. Weber looks for staff hiring help
Sign up for e-mail news updates.