The article: Westby City Clerk Placed on Unpaid Suspension contains significant errors and unsubstantiated facts in accusation of Mary Holte. We believe the citizens of Westby should hear the other side of the story.

The article reads that Ms. Holte’s contract with Scenic View Apartments states she worked 15-20 hours per week, without mentioning specifically the time spent working at the City. Furthermore, the article states that thousands of documents were worked on while performing her duties as City Clerk. This statement lacks any substantial evidence. The documents may have been stored on site, however, the time spent working on them at City Hall was minimal, and only after all City work was completed.

The accusation that she “printed thousands of hard copies as back-up on City owned equipment” is lacking context. Ms. Holte provided her own paper and paid the City for the use of the equipment, of which she has receipts.

The Mayor, Mr. Helgerson, claims he told Ms. Holte to cease all Scenic View business from City Hall, however this is entirely hearsay. Mr. Helgerson has provided no documented proof of this conversation. Any official reprimand would have and should have been documented in writing.

Mr. Helgerson is an elected official – his only direct report is the Police Chief of Westby. Ms. Holte reported directly to the City Council. Therefore, any investigation should have been handled through the Council and not Mr. Helgerson. He stepped outside his duties in both investigating and reprimanding Ms. Holte.

We know Mary as being a hard worker and someone who takes extreme pride in her work. She would not intentionally do anything to harm the City of Westby. We urge all citizens to carefully consider the actions taken by Mr. Helgerson, and to perform due diligence in understanding both sides of this story before reaching a conclusion based on this one article.

Leah Fanella, Brett Holte, Kylee Holte


Westby Times editor

Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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