Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Banks in turmoil after Awesome exit

Former city manager quiet on questions regarding his resume


The city of Banks is again without a city manager.

The small town of 1,775 people first tried to hire a city manager in 2007, but the process was restarted when Donald Whitman, the city’s first pick, used the city’s job offer as leverage for a salary increase at his job in Caney, Kansas.

Later that year, Jim Hough, the city’s first city manager, reported for duty. Hough retired this year and was replaced by Kyle Awesome. But less than three months into his tenure, Awesome resigned from his post amid a cloud of questions about the veracity of his resume, putting the city back on the market for a leader.

Now, city officials are figuring out what their next steps are and the League of Oregon Cities, which managed the hiring process for the city, is cutting Banks a refund.

The League of Oregon Cities Executive Director Michael J. McCauley issued a statement last week apologizing to the City of Banks for failing to meet the standards of the candidate review process they conducted for the Banks city manager position.

Awesome, born Franklin Kyle Hayes, resigned from his position at noon on Friday, Nov. 2 with little notice, just as questions about his resume arose, leaving the city in a tailspin.

According to Banks Mayor John Kinsky, the city paid the League around $7,000 for their services, plus money to advertise for the position. Banks will be getting its money back, though, now that several elements of Awesome’s resume are in question.

"The League has conducted a senior management review of its city manager recruitment for the City of Banks. Based on that review, the league's work did not meet its own standards. We have apologized to the City of Banks for this failure to meet our and its expectations for candidate reviews. The League will be refunding the fee paid by the City of Banks and will also reimburse the city for the advertising costs incurred in the search process,” McCauley’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the City of Banks is trying to operate in Awesome’s absence. Kinsky said Awesome’s resignation came as a “real shock” and now city officials are “just kind of waiting to see what happens next. We have had a week to adjust to a completely different reality.”

Awesome told Kinsky he was resigning because he got a job at the White House in Washington, D.C., a claim the White House hasn’t confirmed for the News-Times. According to Kinsky, the City of Banks will not be conducting its own investigation on Awesome. “We are trying to get confirmation of his job offer, but we frankly don’t have the resources to do our own investigation,” he said.

City Recorder Jolynn Becker has been appointed the interim city manager until the Banks City Council can figure out what to do next.

“We are still waiting and still trying to ascertain whether we have the facts” about Aweome’s resignation and resume, said Kinsky. The emails Kinsky has exchanged with Awesome have been vague and attempts from News-Times reporters to contact Awesome have gone unanswered.

The veracity of several degrees listed on Awesome’s resume are under suspicion.

The Ph.D. in Presidential Politics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., listed under the education section of his resume, could not be confirmed. While a Georgetown University registrar associate said they could not confirm or deny academic records without Awesome’s permission over the phone, Felicidad Bunan of the registrar’s office said “based on the information you have given us on Franklin Kyle Hayes/Kyle Awesome, we cannot confirm his degree from Georgetown University” when provided with his age and names, as well as a claimed degree and graduation year.

A registrar associate at Louisiana State University could not find any record of Kyle Awesome or Franklin Kyle Hayes ever being registered at the university in Baton Rouge, despite the fact he claimed a master's degree in International Relations from the institution.

A Ferrum College registrar associate found Awesome did not earn two bachelors’ degrees — one Political Science and the other in Large Business Administration as he stated on his resume — but rather a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in business.

Kinetic Web Publishing Solutions, where Awesome claimed to have held the title of executive vice president for east coast operations, could not be found.

'Not a good position'

Former Cornelius City Manager Dave Waffle said the League of Oregon Cities has always been very reliable in his experience and added it is very unusual for city managers to be hired with a faulty resume.

“I feel bad they have to deal with this mess,” said Waffle.

After the eight-month process of searching for a city manager to replace former city manager Jim Hough, who retired in September ahead of Awesome taking the reins, the city is back to square one.

“We’re having to go through the entire process again. It’s not a good position to be in,” Kinsky said.

The basic requirements for the position set out by the city included a bachelor’s degree and no criminal record, and Kinsky estimated they had between 30 and 40 applicants for the position.

Before his abrupt resignation, Kinsky said he thought Awesome “was doing a great job. All my interactions with him were positive and morale around here seemed to improve. I was generally pleased with him.”

Discussions in executive sessions and city council meetings will be plentiful in the next few months, but right now, “we just want to make sure we are doing the right thing,” said Kinsky. “We don’t want to hide anything because we have nothing to hide.”



Local Weather

Cloudy

59°F

Forest Grove

Cloudy

Humidity: 93%

Wind: 0 mph

  • 29 Aug 2014

    Cloudy 76°F 55°F

  • 30 Aug 2014

    Partly Cloudy 76°F 53°F