Museum board prepares to cut Pott

Tri-Cities Historical Museum Executive Director Kenneth Pott has been on administrative leave since April 3.
Alex Doty
Apr 9, 2013

Administrative leave typically means an employee has been temporarily relieved of their duties, but pay and benefits continue until the employee is either reinstated or terminated.

“Ken Pott is on administrative leave pending his separation from the museum,” said Bob Monetza, a member of the museum's board. “The Museum Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interest of the museum for us to go our separate ways.”

Pott's imminent departure follows a two-year tenure that has been filled with criticism from others in the community about his running of the Grand Haven facility.

Read a letter to the museum board about concerns over Pott's management: download the RELATED FILE below this story.

Robb Robbins, vice president of the museum board, said they're working through arrangements on some type of severance agreement for Pott, but he wouldn’t discuss its details.

“It could be resolved very quickly, or not,” Robbins said. “We’re in the middle of it.”

Museum officials also wouldn’t elaborate on why Pott was placed on administrative leave, other than that it was "a personnel matter."

Museum Board President Nancy Solon said that there were “no improprieties” by Pott.

Pott was named director of the museum in April 2011. He was previously executive director of the Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph.

The museum's curator of exhibits, Steve Radtke, has been named acting museum director.

Attempts by the Tribune to reach Pott for comment were unsuccessful.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.
 

Comments

sirhansalot

The reason for the board wanting to get rid of Mr. Potts is because they want to keep the museum in the 1960s, perpetuate stereo types in the way they portray our past history. The strawberry moon debacle is an example of how out of touch with reality the board is. The strawberry moon festival is a completely inaccurate presentation of the times it portrays. Mr. Potts is the best thing that could have happened when it comes to the museum ,it is too bad a little bit of change scares the board members. It is time for these old out of touch board members leave the board

sirhansalot

Ernie Marvin is one of people who sent the letter to the board.. Ernie Marvin has a vested interest and makes money off the strawberry moon festival is mad that the festival might not take place next year

rukidding

sir complains a lot; don't let this issue ruffle your FEATHERS. Getting involved in this WAR might PAINT you in a corner, backing the ousted director. I think the majority are pleased with his dismissal.

sirhansalot

What is the reason? A letter from 4 people?

saskiatas

Perhaps sirhansalot missed the museum board meeting last month, attended by 100+ concerned citizens. At least 25 or more people addressed the board. The primary focus of the discussions was on the Feast of the Strawberry Moon for 2013, but it was obvious even to someone unfamiliar with museum board history (or the related letter to this article) that there was more to the story involving discontent with Mr. Potts' activities and direction. The fact that several people under his supervision or having to work closely with him chose to no longer be employed by or volunteer with the museum does suggest that the board's decision is one that is in the best interest of the museum long-term.

letthegamesbegin

Sir, I don't recall you standing up at the board meeting about the Strawberry Moon and expressing your opinions, and you certainly didn't voice your attack on Ernie out loud. Do you even KNOW Ernie? Your comment about him couldn't be more wrong, which indicates you don't know him at all. How about you man up when making personal attacks and make them face to face instead of spouting falsities from the safety of the faceless masses of the internet?

sirhansalot

So lethegamesbegin Are you saying that your friend Ernie does not sell things and make money during the fest?

bear3

Well once again sirhansalot running his mouth, and once again has zero clue about yet another topic. The Tri-Cities Historical Museum is something this community can be proud of. The Feast is just one of many things they do right. It is attended by many as a very friendly family event. It was clear from the event in 2011 that Mr. Potts didn't enjoy reenactments and set out to sabotage its very existence. He clearly had no clue hoe beloved this event was to many and chose to make a decision without the boards permission. Little did he know that a very popular social media page went up and within 24 hours and grown to over 300 people. Many who did attend a board meeting. He clearly did not have the museums best interest in mind and thankfully this board has made the right decision. Ernie Marvin is the heart and soul of the event and without him there would be no Feast.

bigdeal

Thank goodness! They guy single-handedly tried to ruin our museum & events. He chased away the best people, and karma has come around to kick his butt out! You might say the museum had gone to Pott.

Gsfres123

Publicly beating a man down is cowardly.
Mr.Pott did not deserve to be humiliated. Maybe people could have tried looking at the positive things he accomplished then work together on how to make the feast work without behaving like 3rd graders.
I am there frequently and Mr. Pott could have used some assistance with a few "longtime staff" he inherited.
Nancy Buchanan seems like a disgruntled employee, not a person who's words desrve respect.
If the people who signed this document really cared about the museum they wouldn't have gone to the paper. Justifying bad actions for the good of the museum?
Selfish.
Those of you who feel you did the right thing really need to ask yourselves why you are REALLY behaving this way. Is it for your own selfish reasons or is it for the museum?

Xwarrior

Mr potts brough this on himself and no one else is to blame. He pick a fight in which he couldn't win at all. The Feast lives on. Now for Gsfres12. Calling Nancy Buchanan disgruntled employee is way out of line. Do you have any clue what happen inside the museum when Mr. Potts arrive. No, you wouldn't. Nancy Buchanan love the Museum and she was forced out by Mr. potts. Not only her but others as well.

Now that Mr. potts is gone maybe Nancy Buchanan can return to help run the Feast once again.

sirhansalot

Mr. Potts wants to make sure that what the public sees is true to life and history, The strawberry moon festival is a poor representation of the true way that west Michigan was founded. The fest is a joke it is historically inaccurate and needs not to have the museums money wasted on it. For all of the lovers of the fest just keep your heads in the sand and continue to play on your fantasy island full of lies and inaccurate information as you continue to perpetuate your stereotypes. There is nothing worse then a group of grumpy old men and woman unwilling to change.Why were none of the museum current or past employes hired for the position of executive director? Because they were not qualified for that position and should just do there job not his.

sirhansalot

Mr. Potts wants to make sure that what the public sees is true to life and history, The strawberry moon festival is a poor representation of the true way that west Michigan was founded. The fest is a joke it is historically inaccurate and needs not to have the museums money wasted on it. For all of the lovers of the fest just keep your heads in the sand and continue to play on your fantasy island full of lies and inaccurate information as you continue to perpetuate your stereotypes. There is nothing worse then a group of grumpy old men and woman unwilling to change.Why were none of the museum current or past employes hired for the position of executive director? Because they were not qualified for that position and should just do there job not his.

Xwarrior

Sir Hates a Lot, I have only one word for you Troll. The Feast lives on and Mr. potts is gone for Good. Now Why don't you go back into your cave.

sirhansalot

I sublet my cave to jesus

westcoaster

I don't know what the heck is going on here, but I must say, the board made a big mistake letting Mr Pott go. I had not even HEARD of the museum before he arrived here. I went for the first time, a year ago, and was very impressed. Whenever I saw or heard him interviewed, he seemed very knowledgeable and professional. My impression is that he raised the standards of a "drifting" institution. Having looked into this strawberry moon fest, it appears that Native Americans were not accurately represented, and maybe this is why it was suggested to discontinue it; after all, a history museum is supposed to be fair and accurate.

Xwarrior

Mr. Potts didn't believe that Westcoaster. He didn't like the Feast at all. He though that Feast was losing money, but that was not main goal for feast at all. It was teach about the past. However, Mr. Potts only saw his ideas and not Board's ideas. A Museum director has to work with the staff and the Board. Mr. potts didn't want that at all.

As for Native Americans at the Feast. Not many Native American's sign up. I hope we can get more to come to Feast this year and next.

sirhansalot

No native americans want any part of this fest because while at the fest they will be referered to as savages and that they they have no god. This is the issue with the fest..... To watch a over weight white guy dressed up as a native american telling little kids things like the natives americans had no god, they were savages ect..... is why you will never get a true native american to attend

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