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MI: Allendale Township Supervisor in hot water over scalding employee survey

Allendale Charter Township Supervisor Jerry Alkema is in hot water after survey results showed his employees aren’t too happy with his behavior in the workplace.

In the survey, authorized by the township in July, employees blasted Supervisor Alkema, accusing him of being a tyrant and of racial, gender, and age discrimination. But it gets more explicit. Supervisor Alkema has also been accused of sexual inappropriateness in both his behavior and his conversation in the presence of employees.

Some of the most shocking comments include:

“The “f” word used frequently.”

“Or … when he [Jerry Alkema] talked to a black woman on the phone and then met her in person he was surprised that she was black, because she sounded smart on the phone.”

 “Somehow the Township Supervisor [Jerry Alkema] making masturbation gestures at women at work seems highly inappropriate.”

Just a little over an hour after the first Mlive.com story broke, another Molotov cocktail was thrown at Alkema. Allendale Township Clerk Candy Kraker “announced in an email that she is resigning because of the ‘toxic environment’ caused by Supervisor Jerry Alkema.”

Kraker has served Allendale Charter Township for 26 years. In her email, Kraker also had this to say of her coworkers, “I will miss you all so much … you have been an absolute pleasure to work with!”

10612562_365694370248789_6581206823627181440_nChris McMullin (pictured left), a lifelong resident of Allendale and candidate for Allendale Charter Township Trustee in 2016, shared his thoughts regarding the controversy.

“He should resign immediately. If he doesn’t by the end of the year, I intend to start the recall process,” McMullin said.

He expressed dissatisfaction with Alkema’s alleged remarks.

“I’m mostly upset about the racist and sexist comments – the ‘masturbation gesture’ that is referenced three separate times, and the times employees say he is disrespectful towards minorities. Allendale is a township of inclusion, and welcomes diverse people and ideas – we’re the proud home to Grand Valley State University. To have a township supervisor who acts like a character out of ‘Mad Men’ isn’t good for our image, our integrity, nor our future.”

McMullin said he would try to restore the dignity of the office.

 “Well, first of all, I’m not racist or sexist, so restoring a workplace ethic that is adherent to the law wasn’t even in my peripheral until this survey was available, but now it’s priority one. Other than that, I think, as a Bible study leader for my church, and a supervisor of six managers and over 40 employees, I think my moral and work ethics [that] I’ll bring to the board will be an asset to the Township.”

In July, the Township Board authorized the expenditure of $2,962 to a local college to design, oversee and process a new Allendale Charter Township employee survey.

In previous years this had been accomplished using the online survey program “Survey Monkey,” but after the township board became aware of employee dissatisfaction, they–with the exception of Supervisor Alkema and Treasurer R.J. Modderman–voted to approve the more comprehensive survey from an outside company which would give employers a greater sense of anonymity.

Top photo: Google image of Alkema (left) next to Candy Kraker

Small photo: Gena Rinckey

Gena Rinckey

Wife, Mom of three - two college students and one Navy Airman. Citizen journalist and activist. Inspired by the late Andrew Breitbart. Twitter: @Gena_Rinckey

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Categories: Elections, Government Transparency, Must Read, News, Policy
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