North Tahoe PUD parks leader abruptly replaced; no reason given |

North Tahoe PUD parks leader abruptly replaced; no reason given

Tracey Towner
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

KINGS BEACH, Calif. — North Tahoe Public Utility District is amid another leadership shake-up — this time involving the park and facilities manager.

The district issued a statement Thursday, Aug. 13, announcing the replacement of Park and Facility Manager Tracey Towner with former manager Kathy Long, who will serve in the role on an interim basis, effective immediately.

When asked of details surrounding Towner’s replacement, Pam Emmerich, NTPUD technology and public information administrator, said: “All personnel matters are confidential, and we can’t get into any details.”

She added that all California employees — public and private — have a right to privacy in personnel matters, after consulting the district’s labor attorney, Daniel J. Coyle.

Therefore, as an employer, the district can’t release information beyond stating whether an individual is employed.

Towner is no longer employed by the district, Sandra Lazzareschi, NTPUD’s human resources manager, confirmed, with her last day being Monday, Aug. 10.

Towner originally replaced Long, who retired from the NTPUD on Aug. 2, 2013, after more than eight years of service.

“We are pleased that Kathy Long was willing and able to return on this interim basis,” NTPUD interim general manager/CEO Duane Whitelaw said in a statement. “We know that her experience and knowledge of the district and our community will allow her to hit the ground running.”

Long will work 40 hours a week at a rate of $35 an hour, for a weekly pay of $1,400, Lazzareschi said.

Details such as the hiring process for a permanent replacement and a timeframe are unknown, Lazzareschi said.

Towner was hired as the district’s park and facilities manager Aug. 26, 2013, from a pool of 10 “extremely qualified” candidates, according to the NTPUD.

According to her former contract, Towner was paid $6,200.70 a month, for a total of $74,408.30 annually.

Her employment agreement also states: “ … employment is at the will and at the pleasure of the general manager/CEO, and … may be terminated without cause or justification and without right to (an) appeal or hearing.”

Prior to the PUD, Towner served as executive director at Amador County Recreation Agency.

Since late November 2014, the district has replaced its general manager/CEO, general legal counsel and labor counsel.

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