Mayor’s ‘State of City’ speech marked by questions about personnel issues

FORKS — Tensions in Forks resulting from three Forks Police Department employees who are on paid administrative leave surfaced momentarily at Mayor Nedra Reed’s “State of the City of Forks” speech at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday.

Two audience members posed questions about the police department.

The Forks Chamber of Commerce meeting drew about 50 people — more than double the usual 20 or so who usually attend the meetings, said Marcia Bingham, Forks Chamber of Commerce executive director.

The first question was from Eric Munger who asked the mayor if she could name specific examples of officers who left the department for another city because of pay.

The mayor declined to answer, saying that examples previously given of officers leaving for Renton or Aberdeen were partially factual in that officers would leave because of pay whether or not it was because of those specific cities.

“We have had four people who left for other cities,” she said.

“Forks is always faced with budget constraints, and we don’t always have the opportunity for duel employment for the spouses who come with the officers.

“Also, there is the factor that there are those of us women who live here and love it, but not everyone does.

“In many cases we have paid to train the officers and they stay here a year or two, and they find they can make $25,000 or $30,000 more in another city, and because they have families and are a young officer — it is unfortunate, but they go.”

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