By Shereen Siewert
WESTON — Administrator Dan Guild said he is looking forward to working with the board of trustees to serve the residents of Weston following an unpaid 30-day suspension ordered for breaching the terms of his employment agreement.
Guild returned to work Thursday, one day after a meeting with the board of trustees to discuss future performance expectations. He has been suspended since May 24, following a closed session meeting requested by newly elected Trustees Wally Sparks and Mark Maloney. The board approved Guild’s suspension by a vote of 6-1.
Yee Leng Xiong was the sole trustee to vote against the action.
Two weeks later, village trustees approved hiring outside attorney Dean Dietrich to assist in crafting a new employment contract for Guild after the village attorney stepped away from the conflict. Guild then hired his own employment attorney, Kevin St. John, who called the suspension an “unnecessary disruption” that violated the administrator’s right to due process.
Guild issued a statement Thursday to outline his thoughts on moving forward as administrator. The statement, in its entirety, reads:
As you know, last night I attended my first meeting with the Board of Trustees since May 21. I thought it was a good conversation. The Board of Trustees and I had a talk about what this new Board wants to see from me in the future, and they solicited my feedback. It was about how I can serve them better in their service to this community. It’s the kind of conversation that happens all the time between employers and employees – or should happen. Tonight, really was about moving forward for the citizens of Weston, not looking back. We have a lot to do!
During last night’s discussion, I told the Board am I their employee and this Village’s servant. They are the elected leadership of this community. If they wish to change policy, that is their prerogative. If they wish to supervise the Office of Village Administrator differently, that is also their prerogative. It is my job to administer their policies and to provide the information they need to make the important decisions they make for the good of the Village. It may be my role to advise them, but the decisions are theirs. And if they wish for me to go about my role in a different manner while remaining consistent with law and the employment agreement, I will attempt to fulfill their wishes.
We did not revisit the suspension or its causes. To this day, I still do not know the exactly why I was suspended. Nothing that the board has communicated to me would warrant a suspension. I’ve heard some crazy rumors – that I don’t work enough or there has been some sort of misconduct. Those rumors are false.
Of course, I was disappointed with the suspension. It has been hard on me and my family, especially the way it came about and the fact that we still don’t understand why. I don’t think it was proper and I don’t think it was legal. The board knows I think that. But the suspension is over now, and last night was about looking forward – how are we going to work together in the future. I have a lot left to give this community.
The Board indicated to me that they wanted to finalize my performance expectations, and they are in the process of doing that. But the suspension is over. I am focused on looking forward and doing what I can to positively impact the Village of Weston.
Guild has been village administrator since May 2012. Prior to his tenure in Weston, he spent nearly three years as administrator in Poynette, Wis.