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Welcome House in disarray

June 27, 2013

Residents of Welcome House of South County protest outside the shelter last week. (Photo By Audrey O’Neil)

Former board members, employees share their stories

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – 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 Barden’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.
“Which was immediately a little strange,” Ballenden said. “But 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 didn’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.”
When asked Tuesday if he applied for the executive director position Burke replied, “It’s a personnel issue.”
For the rest of this story, pick up a copy of the June 26 issue of the Narragansett Times.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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