COLUMBUS, Ind. - Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown and board members of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department are at odds.
The mayor was a no-show for a meeting of the parks board on Thursday and other city leaders were left wondering what happened.
The mayor was on the agenda for the meeting and board member Mary Tucker said she was shocked that Brown didn’t show up.
"I just wish she would have been here so we could resolve this issue today that's what I wish," Tucker said.
The issue stems from the demotion of park director Ben Wagner by the mayor back in January. The community remains divided over the issue.
Brown said Wagner misused a city credit card, among other allegations. Wagner said the claims are false.
Some city leaders think the mayor overstepped her authority by demoting Wagner.
"We don't feel like even with the justification she gave everyone that there was just cause to demote him," City Councilor Dascal Bunch said.
Instead of public comments and discussion at Thursday’s meeting, board President Brian Russell read from a statement.
Russell and Nancy Ann Brown met with the mayor and city attorney Tuesday to negotiate some sort of solution to the city’s problem of not having a park board director.
The mayor wants to hire a new director, but first, the board needs to ask the council for money.
"We're still holding the director’s salary at zero, so at some point in time if they've got things resolved, they need to come to us so we can give them the money back," Bunch said.
It is now up to the mayor to recommend someone to serve as the new park director, but the board will have to OK that nomination, and that could be a tall task.
The board has asked the city council to examine a severance package for Wagner who is currently the marketing and public relations coordinator for city parks.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1
Suspect arrested in shooting death of Indy teen
Indianapolis police said Saturday they had arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy.
IACC offers 'Deflate-Gate' dog adoption deal
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control had a little fun with the Deflate-Gate controversy on Super Bowl weekend – offering discounted dog…
StormTeam 6 Alert: Snow, sleet approach Indy
It's a StormTeam 6 Alert Day as Hoosiers brace for widespread weekend snow.
Two teens drown in pool at apartment complex
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- South Bend police say two people drowned in a pool at an apartment complex after the 19-year-old man started to…
Ty Pennington to appear at Indy Home Show
"Extreme Makeover Home Edition" TV host Ty Pennington was scheduled to make an appearance at the Indianapolis Home Show Saturday.
Hoosier Hoop Hysteria scores: Jan 30
Check out the scores and highlights from Hoosier Hoop Hysteria: