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.