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Former board members, employees share their stories
SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ Staff members have quit. Board members have been ousted. Residents have picketed.
The alleged incidents plaguing the Welcome House of South County began in December, according to a former board member.
After Linda Barden, the former executive director, was let go, the Welcome House began the search for a new executive director, according to Paul Ballenden, who sat on the board until June 13. With Bardenâ€™s departure, several former board members also left.
At that time, Ballenden, who became a board member in December, said Ken Burke, chair of the board, put himself in as an applicant for the position.
â€śWhich was immediately a little strange,â€ť Ballenden said. â€śBut with his passion and his commitment, I thought he was going to be the next director, we all [the board members] thought that, though we didnâ€™t say as much. We handled it very professionally and we put together a selection committee and pulled together a bunch of candidates. We interviewed about 20 to 30 and short-listed it down to three; Ken Burke was one. We then opted to go with Ken Mayer, who had more experience and was the better all around candidate. It was a unanimous vote that he should get it.â€ť
When asked Tuesday if he applied for the executive director position Burke replied, â€śItâ€™s a personnel issue.â€ť
For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of the June 26 issue of the Narragansett Times.