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Ousted Spokane street director writing reports on improving city streets while officials determine future

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 15, 2017

FILE – Mark Serbousek, who was ousted by Mayor David Condon earlier this month as the street department, in 2012. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
FILE – Mark Serbousek, who was ousted by Mayor David Condon earlier this month as the street department, in 2012. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The city’s former streets director is preparing reports on future department operations while officials determine what his permanent job will be.

“At this point, he’s sort of in a holding pattern,” said Marlene Feist, director of strategic development for the public works and utilities department, said Wednesday of Mark Serbousek, who was ousted from his job overseeing the city’s streets earlier this month.

Officials have remained tight-lipped on the reason for the change. Condon named Gary Kaesemeyer, the city’s superintendent of wastewater collection and maintenance, as the acting street director. Andy Schenk, the city’s principal engineer in the street department, was informed at the same time as Serbousek that his duties will be revised, Feist said.

Mayor David Condon would not comment on Serbousek’s move in an interview Monday night. Condon spokesman, Brian Coddington, said the only statement the city will release about the change is that it was a “personnel issue.”

Condon said Monday he didn’t know what Serbousek’s duties had been since the move, which took place hours before a snowstorm brought about 10 inches of snow.

“He’s still employed by the city,” Condon said. “I don’t watch his daily tasks.”

As a department director, Serbousek served at the pleasure of the mayor, a job referred to as an “exempt position” that is not represented by a bargaining unit. Schenk is represented by the Managerial & Professional Association, a union covering workers in supervisory and skilled jobs.

David Kokot, the newly elected president of the union and an engineer in the Fire Department, said his group was not notified before the personnel change was announced. He said the union has been in contact with the Human Resources Department to determine if they needed to be involved because of a change in working conditions for one of their members.

Schenk declined comment when reached by phone Wednesday. Kaesemeyer is out of the office this week, according to staff.

Serbousek earned nearly $127,000 in 2016 as director of the streets department. Feist said his future compensation “would be commensurate” with the duties of the job that is assigned.

The reports Serbousek was requested to prepare include “info on things that could be changed” in the streets department, Feist said.

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