You can’t throw a rock in a pond and not expect there to be a ripple effect. In a swan pond, you might even ruffle some feathers.
Kristen Hansen threw a big rock at last Tuesday’s Manlius Village Board when she made her “workplace violence” complaint public. The ripple could be read about for miles in various local media sources.
That “ripple” included audience members screaming at Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin for being “horrible” to the outgoing parks and recreation director, who said she’s taking a job in Texas — and taking her kids away from their grandparents — because she can’t take the conditions at village hall any longer.
It included Hansen’s predecessor, Jim Raulli, coming forward to say that he, too, did not enjoy working in Manlius because the trustees, while they could not agree on how his department should be run, still felt it was their place to tell him just that. Raulli left Manlius and took the same job in Sullivan because he wanted to be somewhere that allowed him to put his 20-plus years of experience to good work.
It included years of infighting by village board members over what appears to be personal differences coming to the surface.
For some village of Manlius residents, it included waking up from years of apathy toward village government.
It took courage for Hansen to point out what she saw as injustice taking place at village hall. When you’re a true professional, as Hansen has proven herself to be, publicly criticizing your soon-to-be former employer isn’t something you do on a whim or without reservation.
We’re hoping that her actions have one more effect: the continued interest by village residents in how their tax dollars are spent. Now more than ever, the people of Manlius must come together and hold their village officials accountable by attending board meetings and asking questions. Otherwise, Hansen’s brave effort will have been nothing more than a rock thrown in a pond.