By Kelsey Fortune
During Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the Council appointed commission members. I was hoping to be one. Instead, after making my apology public, I was called out and shamed in a public forum where I had no option to respond.
I missed my interview. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but we are living through difficult times right now. Staff and I had scheduled a fifteen-minute interview with Dan Carson and Gloria Partida on Monday, November 23rd. Unfortunately, my grandmother, who has been in a nursing home since a stroke in the Spring of 2019, was diagnosed with COVID-19, and my mind was elsewhere. I forgot about my interview completely.
I emailed an apology. The following morning, I realized my mistake. I was extremely disappointed with myself for missing such an important meeting. The whole day was filled with guilt and sadness. I emailed the staff member with whom I had been corresponding about the interview.
“I want to sincerely apologize for missing my interview yesterday. My grandma has been diagnosed with COVID, and I am completely consumed with this news. I’m sorry that I wasted Dan and Gloria’s time. I hope that I can still be considered to serve on a commission.”
I received a compassionate response from staff on Monday, November 30th. I understood this to mean that my application had been forwarded along with this information.
“I am truly sorry to hear about your grandma’s diagnoses, and wish her a speedy recovery!! Your application has been forwarded to the entire City Council for their consideration. Appointments will occur tomorrow at their Council meeting.”
I called in to apologize during public comment. Instead of responding with compassion, Council responded by called me out in their discussion. It was stated that this was the first they were hearing from me. From my perspective, that is not true. I reached out the day following the missed interview. Regardless, speaking this way about a private citizen in a public forum where they cannot respond is inappropriate, unprofessional, and humiliating.
Please consider what you expect from our elected officials.
Kelsey Fortune is a Graduate Student at UC Davis and ran for City Council
Response from City Manager Mike Webb:
Dear Ms. Fortune,
I offer to you, and the City Council, my sincere apology for this unfortunate communication oversight. I take full responsibility for your message not being forwarded to the Council Subcommittee and ultimately the full City Council.
The City Council was inadvertently informed that we had not had contact with you about the missed interview. Clearly we did have communication from you where you explained your circumstances. I am truly sorry for this communication error and that it led to misinformation that was embarrassing to you and in the public realm. To that end I am copying Anne Ternus- Bellamy from the Davis Enterprise so that she has the correct information. I know this does not undo what has been done but I commit to you that this will be a learning opportunity so that we can avoid it happening again.
Of course, we will be happy to accommodate a rescheduled interview with the Council Subcommittee and will be in contact with you to schedule it.
I am very sorry to hear about your family and truly wish you all the very best of health.
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