The controversy over the firing of the former executive direction of the Palisade chamber of commerce continues.
Kathy Fernandez was fired earlier this month and says she was concerned a year ago when she took the job because three other executive directors had been fired in 7 months. But she says the board assured her the turn over was because the others were not up to the task.
She’s now the fourth person fired in two years.
Fernandez says she was working 60 to 70 hours per week because what the board was asking of her could not be done in a normal work week.
She was given one assistant and a few volunteers but says the job requires at minimum a full-time staff of four.
On Wednesday we sat down with a member of the board, but after agreeing to the interview, board member Lori Cole said she couldn't reveal many specifics.
“I think the chamber's board position is that personnel matters probably aren't best to be discussed in a public forum,” Cole said. “And that they need to remain personal, so it's not something I feel adequate discussing on TV I guess.”
Members of the board did say they are currently looking for a new executive director. They do not think this affects the town of Palisade or its reputation with local businesses.
Fernandez says there's no doubt in her mind that the next person will fail. Until the board wants to get involved, she says, they can't set up the committees that Palisade needs to be successful.
Fernandez says her two daughters worked for her temporarily as her assistants, but they were also fired.
Again, the board would not comment when asked about this.