City clerk resigns abruptly
Peabody City Clerk Jonna Munson left for lunch April 24 and never returned, sending notice of resignation via text message that afternoon to Mayor Larry Larsen. She submitted a written resignation left in the drop box at city hall to be found Wednesday morning.
“For personal reasons unknown to the city, Jonna Munson turned in her resignation effective immediately after not returning from lunch,” said Larsen.
Peabody city council members accepted the resignation Wednesday at an emergency city council meeting after an hour-long executive session.
City office positions have been problematic ever since Stephanie Ax retired from the clerk position at the end of 2016. Ax had been city treasurer for most of her long career for the city, switching to the clerk position only months before retiring. Munson was hired to fill the treasurer position Ax left void when she shuffled positions.
Barb Seeney filled the clerk position after a month of in-house training in January 2017. She remained clerk until she left for a different job at the end of August.
Upon Seeney leaving, Munson moved into clerk position, leaving the treasurer position vacant.
Liz Harder was hired to fill that vacancy at the end of September.
The women were in the middle of a transition process in which Harder would resign from her treasurer position, Munson would take it, leaving the newly hired Destinie Dyer as city clerk. Dyer began work at city hall approximately one week prior to Munson’s resignation.
Following the unexpected resignation of Munson, Harder rescinded her resignation, a move council members approved unanimously at the emergency meeting.
“It will be tougher but it’s not a mountain that we can’t climb,” said Larsen when asked Thursday. “We’ve just chosen a little rougher road. The gal we have in there (Dyer) is remarkable. She is a quick learner and has the tenacity to stick these things through. We’re hoping for positive things from here forward”
Larsen said that they contacted a city and county clerk association in light of recent events. Harder and Dyer were given information to assist them in necessary duties. After reaching out for help on a forum, they’ve also received several phone calls from various city halls across Kansas offering to lend advice whenever needed, and even received a visit from the Burns city clerk.
“The outpouring of volunteerism from other cities and their willingness to answer questions has been outstanding,” said Larsen. “Like I said, it’s obviously going to be a little uphill, but we have a roadmap.”
Messages requesting comment from Munson were not returned by press time.
Last modified May 2, 2018