As a former president of the board of directors of the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, I want to thank Steve Renfree for all of the hard work he has given to MTCA and the community.

I believe Steve has done an excellent job as executive director and deserves to have his job back if he wants it. Steve has been responsible for bringing in more revenue to the MTCA than any other executive director in the past, and this revenue has been extremely beneficial to MTCA.

According to last week's Dunn County News, when Andrew Mercil — now acting director for the MTCA — was asked why Renfree was let go, Mercil said, "There was no particular reason." He then went on to claim there were "ongoing issues that basically began with the start of his employment."

What issues? Why didn't the board take action to correct this right away? Exactly how did Steve "mismanage" things? Where is the prof of all the claims made by Mr. Mercil?

I believe it is grossly unfair for the board to "fire" Steve Renfree before the facts determine he did anything wrong. It is even more outrageous that Mr. Mercil cited these allegations in the local newspaper and implied Steve was somehow connected with the sexual assault issue.

The board should have placed Steve on paid leave and then gone about the job of proving the facts before they tarnished his reputation in our community.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes the following statement: "... nor shall any State deprive any person of life,liberty or property, without due process of law." Loss of your job is the same as loss of property.

Steve is entitled to due process of law. It's a miscarriage of justice to ruin his reputation in the community for "no particular reason."


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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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