Rigby P&Z director fired

Parry

Rigby City Planning and Zoning Director Sharon Parry was released from her position Aug. 5.

Rigby Mayor Jason Richardson said he would not discuss details of a personnel issue, but said the position had come open. Parry confirmed she had been fired.

Parry was the topic of at least one executive session, or closed meeting, regarding personnel issues in June. During the open session portion of that meeting, her attorney and husband Steve Parry described the work environment Sharon Parry was in as “toxic and hostile.”

The city council has received concerns from at least one developer who mentioned Parry. During an Aug. 1 meeting, Bo Porter of FOX Investing said Parry would not put the company on the agenda for planning and zoning regarding signing over a portion of land. He said he wanted to have assurance that signing over the property would not affect his Planned Unit Development.

“I followed up, talked with the mayor, he said ‘I’ll get you on the next meeting,’ and then Sharon came over and … threatened our development and said ‘We will not put you on the next P&Z meeting, we will not put you on the September P&Z meeting. You don’t need to go before P&Z — I can approve it.’ And so I asked, ‘Well, let’s get some assurances from you that this will not be affected.’ (Parry said) ‘I will not do that,’” Porter said.

Richardson said multiple times during the discussion Aug. 1 that the conversation Porter said he had had with Parry did not match the conversations Richardson had had with her.

Parry was not present at the Aug. 1 meeting. When asked about Porter’s statements, Parry said she did not believe those issues had anything to do with her termination. In response, she released the following statement to the Jefferson Star:

“Given certain inaccurate statements made about me, I am compelled to issue a statement on very short notice. To this day, I have not been given the courtesy of any notice as to what the complaints have been against me or my work, nor any opportunity to address whatever complaints there may have been. The mayor has in general been very complementary (sic) of my work as have others that I have worked with. To my understanding, a small group of people, led by Councilman Burke and city clerk Dave Swager, have resulted in my termination following weeks of a toxic and hostile work environment, all of which I consider to be extremely unfair. I thoroughly enjoyed my planning work and my interactions with the wonderful residents of Rigby.”

Both Swager and Rigby City Council member Doug Burke declined to comment. Burke said he legally could not comment on a personnel issue.

Richardson said going forward, the city will look for a new planning and zoning director. He said until the position is filled, the city clerk, the assistant to the clerk and the public works director will perform various duties that would otherwise be handled by the planning and zoning director.