Getting to the bottom of an awesome story

The headline in the Nov. 14 edition of the News-Times read "Banks in turmoil after Awesome exit,"

I loved this headline because, unless you already knew what it was about, you had no idea of what it might mean. Banks are sometimes in turmoil and bank robbers sometimes make awesome exits, but it is hard to put these things together.

But the headline served its purpose — it made you want to know more.

In my case, I already knew a little about the subject since it had been reported a week earlier by a Forest Grove paper that must go unnamed and a few days later in The Oregonian.

It turned out that a young man named Kyle Awesome made a somewhat hasty exit from his recently acquired position as city manager of the city of Banks. (This is how you get Banks and Awesome in the same headline.) Some of the information on his resume did not check out. When he left, he claimed that he had accepted a position with the White House, a claim that also failed to find verification. Awesomeness seemed to be lacking at the White House.

The News-Times story added some detail to the earlier reports. The search for a new city manager was assisted by the League of Oregon Cities and they were supposed to do the background checks.

Mr. Awesome's bachelor's degree did check out with only a slight discrepancy and the League did not check on his claimed master's and PhD degrees, which, unfortunately, did not check out. They helped to make the resume more awesome, but were not required in the job description.

Mr. Awesome's original name had been Franklin Kyle Hayes, but he changed it just a year or so earlier to Kyle Awesome. Now, I have never hired a city manager, but I have been involved in the hiring process for many staff positions at Pacific University and have certainly read my share of resumes.

I must confess that coming across someone who had changed his name to Awesome would have raised an eyebrow or perhaps two — it is a red flag that should cause one to tread carefully. We hired some truly awesome professors at Pacific, but none of them had changed their name to Awesome to tip us off. Professor Awesome does have a nice ring to it, though.

In any case, officials at Banks and at the League of Oregon Cities have probably learned their lesson. I do not expect them to go after a Mr. Stupendous or a Ms. Incredible in future searches. There is something to be said for a little modesty in choosing a new name.

Joking aside, we should acknowledge that we do not know what issues led Mr. Awesome to change his name or anything about the quality of his performance during his several years in the military. During his brief tenure in Banks, people seemed to be happy enough with work and personal skills. He might be well advised, though, to resume his original name in future job searches.

Tom (Above Average) Griffith

Forest Grove

'Shop with a cop' program a team effort

With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, we at the Cornelius Police Department are proud to announce our annual “Shop with a Cop” program. With the help of police department officers and staff, the Forest Grove Police Department and a terrific partnership with Fred Meyer, our program is scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 13.

With the generous donations from our local Fred Meyer store, we will be increasing the number of children from 25 (in the past two years) to 30 this year.

I can’t begin to show my appreciation and gratitude for the support and help I receive in organizing this event. That help makes it the successful event it has become and brings a great happiness to those children who otherwise might not have such a good Christmas.

Lt. Bruce Schmid

Cornelius Police Department

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