By Bonnie Culverhouse
Even though she was approved unanimously at a meeting of the Minden City Council, Tuesday, Sept. 7, an applicant for the job of Minden City Clerk has declined the position.
Karen Walker reportedly told Human Resources Director April Aguilar that she did not feel comfortable “coming onboard with the city because of the lack of knowing whether or not she would actually be appointed both now and in the future.”
In a phone call, Walker told the Webster Parish Journal that she had already accepted another position before the vote, and she made the city aware of it.
“The other company called Friday, Sept. 3 to offer me a job,” she said. I called April and the mayor to let them know I could not go forward with the appointment of the position because of the uncertainty of the approval, and my other offer was a sure thing. At that point, I was told it was too late to remove it from the agenda,” she said.
“I had a really good offer, and I was apprehensive about accepting the job when I didn’t know if the council was going to accept me,” Walker said. “I had a sure thing compared to ‘I didn’t know.’”
Walker, a former Webster Parish resident, has lived away for 12 years. She said she needed the “sure thing” in order to move back and spend more quality time with family and be able to take time to travel with her elderly mother.
“After hearing about how council meetings go, I did have some reservations (about the job),” she continued. “However, that was not the sole reason I didn’t take it. The other position allows me more time with my elderly mother and family.
This was a defining factor in my decision making process. I felt like my mom was the most important thing.”
Minden Mayor Terry Gardner said District E Councilwoman Pam Bloxom was the only member that interviewed Walker.
“There was a conflict for Michael Roy (District D),” the mayor said. “None of the others responded to my email, asking them to interview her.”
Bloxom said she is disappointed buy understands Walker’s decision.
“She was a highly-qualified candidate,” Bloxom said. “We had an opportunity to have someone filling Mr. (Michael) Fluhr’s place with experience and character. Now, we have to start over.”
“I truly appreciate everything the mayor, all council members, and April (Aguilar) did to assist with my appointment as City Clerk of Minden,” Walker said. “I wish everyone with the City of Minden the very best and hope for success with the community. Please accept my deepest apologies if my decision has caused any inconvenience for anyone.”
Aguilar has reposted the position and the search for applicants will continue, the mayor said.
“We will keep moving forward, looking for a qualified candidate,” Gardner said.