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LETTERS: Father defends daughter’s ‘workplace violence’ complaint against Manlius mayor

To the editor:

Last Tuesday I was witness to a supremely proud moment. It was the night my daughter, Kristen Hansen, stood before the village board and got something off her chest. Something that has plagued her for many months. On many nights, she sat in our living room sharing her concerns with her mom and me. These concerns centered around what she felt were undue, unwarranted and sometimes frightening exchanges with her boss. As she shared her situation, we wondered if she was just being over-sensitive. After listening and questioning her on the details, we were convinced that she was the victim of at best, a bully, and at worst, work-place violence! Finally, she took a couple other employees into her confidence and was shocked to learn that they, too, were experiencing the same behavior. She then made the decision that it had to stop.

She prepared a statement to deliver to the board to insure that her concerns were on record. She rose and with calm, measured tones laid out for all to hear, what she was enduring. Upon completing her statement, Mayor Serafin thanked her and after saying he was going to “ignore” her statement, to everyone’s’ surprise, delivered a prepared rebuttal! I felt it odd for him to have something prepared if he wasn’t aware that he had some issues to defend. As we sat there listening to the absolute outrageousness of his words, we felt we could bear it no longer and interrupted him with vigor. The most shocking thing he said, was that he was considering making an attempt at causing my daughter’s new employer to reconsider hiring her. ‘Nuff said.

I hope you all can appreciate what it may be like to sit in an office with a “panic button” at hand in case you fear for your safety. To go to work each day with a pain in the pit of your stomach fearing an unfair confrontation with a superior. It was like that for many months.

Mayor Serafin has publically said that anyone who knows him would not believe he is capable of these accusations. Fair enough. But, my daughter has lived here most of her life. She’s made us all proud of her accomplishments and many of you know her too. Does anyone think, for a moment, that she’s made all this up? She loves this area. Her heart will always be here. Unfortunately, she and her beautiful family will not.

Dave Machan is a resident of Fayetteville.

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