Longtime director of Senior Center of West Seattle out; board president ‘demands … explanation’

July 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 36 Comments

After 25 years, the executive director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, Karen Sisson (WSB file photo at right), is suddenly out. Hearing about this over the weekend, we sought confirmation today from the center’s parent nonprofit, Senior Services of Seattle, and received it from spokesperson Karen Bystrom. She would not discuss the reason, saying it was a personnel matter. But the West Seattle center’s board president David Robertson had more to say, in this statement tonight:

Without knowledge of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle, and without any consultation with Board Members, Karen Sisson was terminated as Executive Director of the Senior Center of West Seattle on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

She was terminated by the CEO of Senior Services of Seattle/King County apparently because Karen sent an email to all staff of Senior Services voicing her concerns regarding points brought to Karen’s attention in the future direction and management of the Senior Center of West Seattle.

I have demanded an explanation by Senior Services of Seattle/King County which I expect by tomorrow evening.

David Robertson
President of the Board of Directors of the Senior Center of West Seattle

Sisson’s achievements as the center’s executive director were detailed in its newsletter earlier this year, including a $3 million capital campaign for renovations and launching popular programs including its Stop ‘n’ Shop store and Rainbow Bingo events. We have not reached her for comment but will be continuing to follow this. Senior Services spokesperson Bystrom told WSB that Lyle Evans is the center’s acting director right now.

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  1. The fastest way to destroy an organization’s effectiveness is to make unilateral decisions without the consultation and awareness of its volunteer board members.

    I was unable to locate a copy of the bylaws of Senior Services of Seattle. Thus, I have these unanswered questions:
    1. Why are the 7 Presidents of the individual Senior Center Boards of Directors not automatically on the Senior Services of Seattle Board of Directors? That’s a communication block right there.
    2. Does CEO Paula Houston have the authority to make personnel decisions without the acquiescence of her Board of Directors? If so, where are the checks and balances on her authority? If not, why did the Senior Services of Seattle Board not inform the West Seattle Senior Center Board?
    3. If the West Seattle Board of Directors is going to be that far out of the communications and decision-making loop, what purpose does the local Board really serve? And therefore, what incentive is there for individuals to volunteer their time and effort to the local Board when decisions like this can be made?

    This must be an incredibly frustrating event for the local center and its board. 25 years and then this? This is as much about the merits of the decision as the manner in which it was made.

    Someone has some serious explaining to do and I would start with Senior Services Board President John Norden.

    Please keep us posted TR. Thank you…

    Comment by Pibal — 8:18 am July 15, 2014 #

  2. My heart dropped when I heard this news. Karen has poured her heart and soul into this senior center for 25 years. I read the email she sent out to the staff and there was nothing inappropriate about it. It’s sad that Senior Services has become the kind of workplace where you can be axed for having an opinion that the CEO doesn’t agree with. Nothing like setting an example for the other 5 senior centers that they need to shepherd the plan to fully integrate the centers into Senior Services’ as programs (vs. separate affiliated organizations)… or else they’ll also be fired.

    Thankfully, from my understanding, the senior centers are all independent nonprofits, so they can decide if they want to deal with this abuse. I think the Senior Center of West Seattle should go independent and hire Karen back. They might be surprised at the ways people come out and support their neighborhood senior center.

    Comment by Sparrow Gill — 9:01 am July 15, 2014 #

  3. As a volunteer at the West Seattle Senior Center I am heartbroken and completely outraged by this news.

    I can bear witness to the untiring and heartfelt devotion that Karen has always demonstrated to this Center and to the seniors who come here. The good that she has done for the seniors of this community can not possibly be measured. She has dedicated her life to doing everything possible to make THEIR lives a full, rich experience. All of us are infinitely poorer without her here.

    Her firing is, in my opinion, a contemptible and ruthless abuse of the CEO’s power.

    Karen was be terminated because she had an opinion that the CEO did not agree with?? Someone needs to be fired alright, but it is NOT Karen Sisson.

    I sincerely hope that our board members and others in positions of authority at Senior Services are protesting this outrageous incident and taking steps to see that Ms Sisson is reinstated immediately for the good of this Center and all who attend here, seniors, staff, and volunteers alike.

    Jan Jarrell
    Volunteer at the West Seattle Senior Center

    Comment by Janice Jarrell — 9:30 am July 15, 2014 #

  4. Former board of directors had the foresight to buy the building that our center is located in. It put this center on firm ground like no other center in the system. If consolidating all the centers means signing over control of this prime piece of real estate, then I as a former board member would have a major problem with that scenario.

    Comment by Jim — 9:54 am July 15, 2014 #

  5. Situations like this are very hard for service-oriented organizations to sort out and weather, unless laws have been broken and then, of course, most people agree on the course of action that should be taken. Doesn’t seem to be the situation here so from my perspective there is either an old-fashioned power-grab going on or a personality conflict. I trust that cooler, wiser heads will prevail and the whole thing will be sorted out quickly. The WSSC seems to provide a huge amount of value to the West Seattle community, e.g. meeting site for many community meetings not directly related to their charter mission (though all WS-related issues obviously relate to residents of all ages, of course).

    On a side note, are there two presidents of the center’s board of directors? If I am not mistaken, two names have been cited here, claiming that title: David Robertson and John Norden. Possibly one is president of the WSSC and the other heads an umbrella organization for senior centers???

    Comment by Sheila Gustafson — 10:03 am July 15, 2014 #

  6. SG – The West Seattle Center’s board president is David Robertson. The citywide Senior Services of Seattle board, according to a quick online check, is what John Norden leads.

    Comment by WSB — 10:22 am July 15, 2014 #

  7. My heart just sunk, Karen is an amazing leader and senior advocate! She is a woman who knows what she wants and what is best for the organization she serves. Karen is beloved by the members of the center, the sponsors and the greater West Seattle Community. I hope the staff and board are able to get the answers they are looking for and can weather through this storm and continue their good work. All my best to Karen, as she is a treasured asset to West Seattle and an inspiration to those who care for seniors. She has my support!

    Comment by KK — 11:27 am July 15, 2014 #

  8. anxious to hear more info about this

    Comment by Diane — 11:38 am July 15, 2014 #

  9. I am a current board member of the West Seattle Senior Center.
    Senior Services was honest in their answer to the West Seattle Blog’s request for comment when they answered the issue is “personal”
    And that *IS* the problem.
    Paula fired Karen because she personally does not appreciate Karen’s attempt to question the direction Paula is proposing Senior Services moves forward in their dissolving of “centers” and creating “program sites”. In her email Karen stated pros and cons and told us we had a lot to think about. She never personally slammed Paula, she did not questions Paula’s ability to lead she simple stated hey folks heads up these major changes are on the possible horizon so lets have a dialog about it.
    After 25 years of dedicated service Karen was fired for doing her job. As the Exec. Director of the West Seattle Senior Center it is Karen’s job to know the needs of the community which uses the center. She simple expressed that Paula’s vision may not meet the needs of West Seattle. Karen’s termination is completely uncalled for.
    As a board member I stand in solidarity with Dave in our quest for answers.

    Comment by Nichole — 11:39 am July 15, 2014 #

  10. You have got to be kidding…. This is just blatantly wrong. Just when we thought that the leadership at Senior Services of Seattle King County couldn’t get worse… No quicker way to kill an organization than to dismiss the investment of those who have given their time, resources, loyalty and love to such a community focal point. Unbelievable

    Comment by Katherine — 12:04 pm July 15, 2014 #

  11. As a volunteer and member of the West Seattle community, I find this to be an outrageous abuse of power. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no one that cares more for our Seniors or the center, than Karen. It appears that those in power at Senior Services care much more about a personal grudge than the welfare of those in our neighborhood, and that is very sad. I have been, and will continue to be in support of Karen and her work. My hope is that this situation is throughly investigated and Karen is returned, rightfully, to her position.

    Comment by Jamie Williams — 12:09 pm July 15, 2014 #

  12. Via Senior Services personnel manual…all upper management serve at the discretion of the Executive Director/CEO and can be removed at any time for any reason. It might not be a good decision, but the CEO has the standing to fire the ED of the WSSC.

    Comment by mae64 — 12:42 pm July 15, 2014 #

  13. Karen is WONDERFUL person who has done some amazing work, that being said it sounds like David Robertson will get an explanation as to why tomorrow. So till tomorrow, I think it’s sad to start pointing fingers, saying this person is in the wrong or did bad or anything else…

    Comment by WS gal — 1:51 pm July 15, 2014 #

  14. There are no words to describe the sadness and outrage I feel after reading this. Karen is such a strong leader in the community and a ray of light to work with. From the seniors that she works tirelessly for, to the volunteer community she has created, to the employees she leads, to the senior service providers she inspires and supports and finally to the entire community of West Seattle and beyond that she represents, she’s proven to be one-of-a-kind with her determination, kindness and ability to bring about positive change for our senior community. I would love to know how I can speak out against this outrageous act of firing Karen – especially without notifying or even asking the Board of Directors. It is apparent that whomever decided this (Paula?) had no thought of the seniors and of the volunteers this will effect! What can we do to speak out and get Karen back to her rightful position. After 25 years of dedication, she deserves to leave when she’s ready to leave – and she definitely deserves a HUGE party with all of the seniors and people that she knows and loves present when that time comes!!

    Comment by wseakell — 1:55 pm July 15, 2014 #

  15. There are always two sides…

    The other side of this story has not been heard not because of “personal” reasons but because this is a personnel matter.

    Comment by Jim — 2:18 pm July 15, 2014 #

  16. Mae64 sounds like you are an internal employee. Don’t forget that the board of directors also has polices in place too, which it appears have not been followed. Regardless of the outcome, I’m betting Paula will not have a good welcome in West Seattle.

    Comment by coffee — 2:48 pm July 15, 2014 #

  17. As I read the additional comments, a few more thoughts occur to me:
    1. Paula Hudson may well have the authority to make this decision. In general, no one rises to the position of CEO without a firm understanding of the limits of his/her authority. And CEOs also are generally empowered to surround themselves with those that match their own vision. The landscape is littered with those that are cast adrift if they are perceived as not being on board. (Note I said perceived. If Karen’s position paper was a logical dissemination of pros and cons, that realistic approach might fly in the face of Paula’s unknown yet possible requirement that anything less than “Yes ma’am, yes ma’am, three bags full” is insubordination. Not every CEO embraces transparency.)
    2. That being said, Paula has made this decision while apparently alienating an entire community. Either she didn’t realize the impact or she didn’t care. Ignorance/lack of understanding the landscape on one hand and arrogance on the other.
    3. I would be interested to know who holds the title to the building based on Jim’s comments. Is it the WS Center or is it Senior Services of Seattle? If the former, David Robertson and the local board may have the opportunity to decide if the greater Seattle affiliation is worth it of if the local center should go it alone. At least the physical asset would be there to support such a change. If the latter, then as distasteful as this is, Senior Services of Seattle may hold all the trump cards. They control both the personnel decisions and own the primary asset. The reality then is that West Seattle will just have to suck it up.
    4. Not having any personal knowledge at all about the local Center, it appears to me to be as altruistic an organization as there is. It exists to serve. But when altruistic transparency comes face to face with power, power wins. I find that as distasteful as anything I know, but such is the world in which we live.

    Comment by Pibal — 4:20 pm July 15, 2014 #

  18. According to county property records, the Senior Center of West Seattle purchased the building/land in 1986: http://info.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eRealProperty/Detail.aspx?ParcelNbr=0952006260

    Comment by WSB — 4:27 pm July 15, 2014 #

  19. Karen has busted her hump more than anyone I have met in my years of volunteering in various agencies. Plus the institutional knowledge and contacts of this woman are invaluable and irreplaceable. I wouldn’t blame Karen and her husband if they just shook their heads and walked away to enjoy retirement as a result of this fine how-do-you-do. Our entire community will feel this loss for a long time. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open on this topic, because I don’t think we’ve heard the end of it.

    Comment by IsleWrite — 6:45 pm July 15, 2014 #

  20. I’ve been a volunteer at WSSC for 4 years and love every minute of it because I see that the WSSC serves not only it’s members but others in the West Seattle Community and beyond. I continue to remark to myself about the innovations, the creativity, the support, the sensitivity, the personal concern for folks that Karen Sisson demonstrates, on a daily basis, in her position as Director of WSSC. I see, in my volunteer position, how the people who partake of what WSSC has to offer appreciate what Karen and her board have made possible for people of diverse backgrounds. I have seen Karen make personal visits, bring food and love and support to those who need it. I’ve experienced her support of the GLBT community in creating a social space for them at the center. I see ethnic and racial diversity honored at WSSC. I observe that people of special needs are honored and respected at WSSC. From my perspective, Karen has her finger on the pulse of the community’s needs in all respects.
    Now, what I have difficulty with is that Ms Houston, the CEO of Senior Services Seattle, chose to fire Karen rather than to give Karen Administrative Leave, pending an investigations of the circumstances that surround the issues. An impulsive, decision, I’d say. Therefore, I’m asking myself, “Why this tactic?” “Why not Win-Win instead of the old “Top-Down” management?” Questions for all to ponder, yes?

    Comment by Suzanne Duffy-Kane — 7:35 pm July 15, 2014 #

  21. Interesting that I saw a notice on the forum for volunteers for the center. I was actually thinking of signing up but not until this matter is clarified. I really don’t want to work for people who apparently don’t go through the proper channels to resolve differences. Hope truth will
    prevail.

    Comment by Laura — 11:09 pm July 15, 2014 #

  22. Many of us who volunteer at the SCWS were incredulous when we heard about Karen’s firing. A popular, successful local manager for 25 years. Just like that? Apparently because of misunderstandings or policy disagreements? If mae64 is correct–for no cause (like getting caught with your hand in the till), with no hearing, no recourse? What kind of organization allows its CEO to take such action? You could understand it coming from an autocratic corporation or government, but from a human services organization? It sounds as if Karen’s dismissal is a blatant power grab by the new Senior Services CEO—take the opportunity to get rid of a potential formidable opponent. The Senior Services board needs to step in and correct this flagrant abuse of power. It’s simply not right and it’s not the way things are done in Seattle.

    Comment by Bruce Gross — 7:29 am July 16, 2014 #

  23. July 16, 2014

    Karen Sisson was my boss for eight years as her administrative assistant. It was during that time when she started the Capital Campaign for the Senior Center of West Seattle. I have never seen anyone as vigorously and as tremendously dedicated in pursuing the success of this Capital Campaign as Karen did. To the point of being obsessed and where her life (almost) revolved around this project during that time. Seeing how passionately involved she was in wanting this project to succeed, her Board of Directors was totally and unequivocally behind her. I saw her pursue any and all sources and resources where she thought the senior center would benefit from, no matter what the amount was. That’s how she was. Karen went beyond the call of duty and would drive her husband’s van to pick up donations from the seniors even at nighttime that in turn benefitted the center’s thrift store, The Stop ‘N Shop. And I have also seen her with her husband do that many times. She had opened the senior center to many possibilities and had given opportunity to all sectors of the community. At first I thought she was being really brave and unwise when she started the Rainbow Bingo at the center where the bingo players were all seniors. But as it turned out, the Rainbow Bingo was a big hit among the seniors! Was that cool or what? She made it possible for the LGBT community to be part of the core of the seniors’ activity and that was to play bingo. Karen had created a win-win situation where everyone co-existed with no problem, no judgment or bias.

    It was such a shock to say the least, when I read this article about Karen getting fired by the powers that be from the head office, the Senior Services of Seattle. I can’t wrap my brain around it. The news was so upsetting to me that I have decided to contribute my piece here and join the many who had aired their opinions and their feelings of disgust by the abysmal way Karen Sisson was treated and how this situation was handled. She does NOT deserve this. I have known Karen for many years and I have seen her passion and her compassion toward what the senior center stands for. The whole community is watching and would want to know what will come out of this ultimately. This is a sad day.

    Thank you,
    Hilda Teodoro

    Comment by Hilda R. — 10:05 am July 16, 2014 #

  24. It would be interesting to know who supervises Ms. Paula Houston, because I think a review of her actions is in order. After some research, I noticed that Ms. Houston has only been in her position as CEO of Senior Services for a little over six months, while Ms. Karen Sisson has served over 23 years in hers, and is much loved in the West Seattle community. Karen has accomplished a great deal to improve services and has been innovative in her direction of the West Seattle Senior Center. I hope that Mayor Murray is aware of this issue. I am looking forward reading the response by Senior Services of Seattle/King County, as promised.

    Comment by ls — 10:09 am July 16, 2014 #

  25. This is a great piece of reporting that delivers the facts in a responsible manner. It is heartening to see the thoughtful comments. We commenters have the luxury of speculating and pointing out the obvious conclusions that responsible reporters who are limited to the facts do not.

    One of the obvious conclusions that I would like to make is that the CEO of Senior Services of Seattle handled this manner so poorly that her board would be negligent if they did not look into it. Senior Services may be an at will employer that can terminate employees for any reason at any time but for a leader to terminate a well respected professional in a manner that alienates an entire community (West Seattle), disempowers two governing boards, and creates fear and a loss of trust with its hundreds of dedicated employees and thousands of volunteers is negligence.

    Ms. Houston’s spectacular lack of judgment and insight demonstrated in the handling of this issue would also necessitate that her board look deeper. This is not likely to be her only “personnel issue” failure during her half year at the helm of Senior Services. Her board should exam her judgment in hiring, firing, administration and leadership. If she handles firing so callously how does she handle hiring her immediate reports? Does the staff have a clear understanding of the vision Ms. Houston has for Senior Services or does her leadership bring confusion and fear into the workplace? Did the board of Senior Services make a mistake in their own hiring decision? Does her board need to lead by example and demonstrate how to handle the termination of the head of an organization in a fashion that actually builds trusts instead of distrust with its community partners, employees, volunteers, funders and the clients they serve?

    Will the board of Senior Services do a serious inquiry into these and other questions? Will it poll the employees, volunteers, funders and clients about their experiences with the new leader of Senior Services or will it just show up for meetings and take at face value the sterilized reports presented to them? It is okay to have made a hiring mistake but when the writing is on the wall and the effectiveness of an organization that serves tens of thousands of King County’s seniors is at stake you need to take clear and decisive action to correct that mistake.

    Karen Sisson has a 25-year track record of providing quality and even innovative leadership to the community and in the service of the Seattle aging population. She was terminated within hours of simply expressing her concerns in a manner that didn’t suit her boss’ leadership style. Ms. Houston has seven months of working in this sector (employment and title do not equal service) and she has only racked up ill will and consistently demonstrated poor judgment and lack of leadership. How long will it be before her boss, the Senior Services Board of Directors, takes action?

    Take action before the ability of Senior Services to perform its mission is permanently damaged. Check out Senior Services Mission, Vision and Cultural Competence statements at http://seniorservices.org/WhoWeAre.aspx Do you think the new CEO or her actions embody these?

    Please join me in asking the following board members of Senior Services to review the incident reported on in this article as well as the leadership health at Senior Services. Board members: John Norden (Chair), Troy Pladson, Mark Stensager, Joe Creed, Shannon Furman, Debbie Anderson, Paul Beck, Eileen M. Birge, Cheryle A. Broom, Joe Garcia, Michael Goodheim, David Haack, Jennifer Paulett, Helen Sikov, Sharon Sobers-Outlaw, Lorna Stone, Jeanne Marie Thomas and Pran Wahi.
    http://seniorservices.org/WhoWeAre/BoardofDirectors.aspx

    Senior Services’ spokesperson Karen Bystrom only has it half correct. The unilateral, on the spot firing of a well respected and accomplished advocate for the aging community with 25 years of faithful service and the simultaneous alienation of an entire Seattle neighborhood is not just a “personnel matter”; it is news. A “personnel matter” would be a board actually exercising their responsibility to provide oversight of a CEO by performing an inclusive inquiry into a CEO’s questionable leadership and judgment across an organization and either terminate that individual or issue a public vote of confidence.

    As a long time resident of Seattle, a soon to be retiree, a volunteer, a board member of sister organizations to Senior Services, and even a regular donor to Senior Services, I can assure the board of directors of Senior Services that Seattle and King County is watching. We are waiting to see if the outside perception of a hostile work environment and loss of trust caused by the top leadership is addressed. We were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and categorize the grumblings of our colleagues at Senior Services as normal new leadership growing pains but now we expect some answers.

    Comment by Seattle Senior — 11:58 am July 16, 2014 #

  26. In following up to the wonderful post by Seattle Senior (to which I totally agree), I would like to know if there is any way we can get email addresses for the Board Members of Senior Services so that we can urge them to take appropriate action in this manner? The link gives their name, but no email addresses. :(

    Comment by Jan Jarrell — 12:25 pm July 16, 2014 #

  27. Jan, I also tried to find an email address for the board with no luck. Hopefully another reader can provide that information.

    Comment by Seattle Senior — 12:42 pm July 16, 2014 #

  28. Since I’m guessing it’s a volunteer board, you’d probably just need to Google to see if the key members’ e-mail addresses are publicly listed (through their work, etc.). Meantime, we expect to publish an update this afternoon, including the latest from the WS board president Dave Robertson, so if anyone monitoring this has any new information – please note our own address isn’t working at the moment thanks to a server failure, so we’re reachable at westseattleblog@gmail.com – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:46 pm July 16, 2014 #

  29. Seattle Senior, Paula Houston’s boss’s would be her board of directors. I am sure that they were aware of her actions. If not, then there is a major problem with their processes. If I were Paula, I would not want to venture to West SEattle anytime soon!

    Comment by coffee — 3:32 pm July 16, 2014 #

  30. I moved here a yr. ago to pursue my mission in helping those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia. I am absolutely nauseated with the thought of Karen being fired. Yes, there’s a lot I don’t know but one FACT I know to be true, Karen is one of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting because of her love for seniors and determination…look what she has accomplished! I believe she eats, breathes and sleeps the Sr. Ctr. …. she/WSSC shines because of it! So, what is best for the West Seattle Senior Center, the seniors, employees, volunteers, morale and the community? Dumb question!!! Please get Karen back before others go after her expertise and personality!!!

    Comment by Theresa M — 4:52 pm July 16, 2014 #

  31. A few emails for everyone:

    I can’t find John Norden or Troy Pladson’s emails on the internet but here are the other officers:

    Mark Stensager: mstensager@gmail.com
    Joe Creed: jcreed@cefirm.com
    Shannon Fuhrman: shannon.fuhrman@regence.com

    Also, the CEO Paula Houston’s email is paulah@seniorservices.org if you’d like to contact her directly. Nearly all of the staff emails are Senior Services are the first name followed by the first letter of the last name.

    I encourage everybody who can speak up to do so. There are many more people (like myself) who would like to be more vocal, but can’t given our relationship with the organization. Please be nice to the Board members – the ones I’ve met are good people and may not be aware of the whole situation.

    Comment by Sparrow Gill — 6:27 pm July 16, 2014 #

  32. Karen is a wonderful director, friend and mentor.
    Her firing is unconscionable.

    Comment by Cindy B — 12:47 pm July 17, 2014 #

  33. I am Karen Sissons daugher and I can tell you that I have known her longer than any of you. Her zeal for seniors did not start in West Seattle but in Walla Walla! My mother has been pouring her heart and energy into bettering the lives of seniors since I was a young girl. I remember going to her work with her on Saturdays so that she could continue to keep the Dail a ride bus going for the seniors and put the newsletter together. Did I mention she was raising 2 young children at that time? Did I tell you the center was closed and she was the only one working while others were with their families?
    My Mother took me and my little brother to the Special dinners so we could help collect tickets,listen to seniors play music, and chat with seniors. My little brother even washed dishes by standing on a box so he could reach the sink.
    My mother has a love for these seniors and has always wanted to give them a more enriched life.
    Through the many years she has worked at the center, she has given me a love for the elderly. I am so thankful for my Mother. She has done so much for the elderly and their families.Many have needed her and received her loving devotion of time, a listening ear,a shoulder to cry on or even a special trip to their house for a specific need they had. I am thankful for her hard work to provide seniors with an amazing support group.
    I do hope all of you share this blog and that more people come forward and share what Karen Sisson has provided for them.
    Thank you so much!!!!!

    Comment by Trudy — 12:11 pm July 19, 2014 #

  34. I just heard about this today and join all of you who are shocked, concerned and asking for more information. I have known Karen to be a wonderful leader and watched with awe as she has grown the West Seattle Senior Center into a hub of services, programs and opportunities for older adults in West Seattle.

    Is there new information on this? I see that an update was expected on July 14th but don’t see anything. Did the West Seattle Senior Center board get an explanation from the Senior Services board? Has Paula Houston responded to any of the e-mails she has received?

    Comment by Arlene Carter — 2:01 pm July 22, 2014 #

  35. I apologize, we’re still recovering from the weekend, watch this space tonight for the next story.

    Comment by WSB — 2:13 pm July 22, 2014 #

  36. Tracy, please let us know the minute there is more news regarding this story. Those of us who work at the West Seattle Senior Center as volunteers and even more so the many senior citizens who attend there regularly, not to mention simply upright members of the West Seattle community are still very distressed about this firing and most particularly about the way in which it was done. We still want answers and we still want this decision to be reconsidered and reversed.

    If I were an employee at Senior Services in ANY capacity I’d be shaking in my shoes for fear that I’d be next. If a CEO can arbitrarily fire someone with Karen’s years of distinction and service for sending an email then believe me no one’s job is safe.

    No due process, no board approval, no open discussion, no debate, no nothing. Just fire the best director that the SCWS is ever likely to have after 25 years of extraordinary service, then duck for cover and refuse to acknowledge the uproar your decision has created.

    Just wanted to let you know that there a many, many folks who are still watching for updates on this story and still very interested in what happens next.

    With much thanks for all you do..

    Jan

    Comment by Jan Jarrell — 7:13 am July 24, 2014 #

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