Over 90 people attended a protest at the Creston Museum over the termination of manager Tammy Bradford.
Bradford had served as the museum manager for over 25 years and was recently released by the museum board.
So far, no reason has been released, with president Luke Kurata posting to Facebook that they will be “respecting the right to privacy of employees and former employees”.
Protestor Pat Martin says this is unacceptable.
“This sleepy little town has its occasional problems, and there’s one at our Creston Museum. Our beloved Tammy Bradford has served for over 25 years. She goes out into the community, she interacts, runs programs, hires students, and puts on an amazing display there all the time,” explained Martin.
“She’s been doing it for so long now that we refer to her as Tammy at the Museum.”
Martin says Bradford received a text while away on vacation informing her of the board’s decision.
“And people got upset. When we had our rally, there were some wonderful old folks there who had many memories of beautiful things they’ve donated to the museum, memories being preserved. And here we have lost the manager who was the coordinator and the heart of that place.”
Martin says that there was a great show of support on Saturday, from the protestor who showed up to the vehicles driving by and honking.
However, the museum board has not responded.
“They can’t come close to finding anybody to replace her,” Martin said. “And why, when you’ve got a gem like that right in the middle of your community, would you take them out and get rid of them? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Bradford herself has declined to comment.
“She’s hurting,” explained Martin. “It hurts her job history. It’s not acceptable. We have to fix this.”
Martin says that Bradford isn’t the one who needs to be replaced.
“If you bring somebody back and they can’t work successfully with the board, then the board has to go. Or, at least members of it that can’t fall in line with the kind of protocol that the museum has exemplified over the years.”
Paul Dort of the board has also declined to comment.
However, Karata’s response on the museum’s website said the board is accountable for its conduct and performance and also for the conduct of its managers, but did not elaborate.
“The board will be cooperative and compliant with any judicial scrutiny initiated,” he added.