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Hot Springs city manager resigns after comment directed toward black resident of gated community

Hot Springs City Manager David Frasher resigned Tuesday night, days after he shouted "You don't live here" at a black school district administrator in the gated community where both men live, according to documents from the city.

Frasher, who is white, tendered his resignation during a nearly three-hour executive session Tuesday, Mayor Pat McCabe told the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record. At the meeting, the Hot Springs Board of Directors discussed discipline for the June 7 comment made to Lloyd Jackson, deputy superintendent for the Hot Springs School District.

Frasher told the board Tuesday night he didn't want what happened to interfere with the progress the city has made since he began working as city manager in March 2016. According to a statement from the city manager's office, Frasher said his residence at the Red Oak Ridge subdivision is next to the community pool. Over the past year, his family has reportedly experienced trespassing, vandalism, loud parties, trash dumping and gunfire at the gated community off Carpenter Dam Road.

"There was little security, and it was up to us to monitor our own neighborhood," he said in Monday's prepared statement.

When a string of unknown vehicles recently sped out of the pool entrance as Frasher was walking with his 4-year-old daughter, he made the "You don't live here" comment as Jackson was driving by with his wife, according to the statement.

The former city manager said he has since apologized to the Jacksons by phone and email, and his wife has invited them over for dinner. In an email to the board of directors, Jackson called the apology "disingenuous" and complained that it was followed by excuses for Frasher's treatment toward his family.

"I shared with him that just like past experiences caused him to respond in a particular way, our past experiences cause us to question his motive and reasoning for being ugly to us as neighbors," Jackson said in the email.

"I shared my disappointment in him as a neighbor and certainly as a representative of our city. Our city manager represents our city at all times, especially when interacting with citizens of the community." At Tuesday's meeting, Frasher told the board it would be better served by a new chief executive. Officials subsequently named Deputy City Manager Bill Burrough interim city manager, according to a news release sent Tuesday from the city. "I am mindful, and I know all of you are, that when we make mistakes in life, and I made one the other day, sometimes the price of healing simply means it makes you less effective in your role," Fraser said.

According to severance terms in Frasher's employment agreement, he's entitled to one year's salary and benefits. The board approved a $170,856 salary for him at the start of the year.

Frasher took the job in Hot Springs after the Oregon City Commission fired him the previous October. A letter provided by the city to The Sentinel-Record last year attributed Frasher's termination to a strained relationship with the commission after allegations that he made "racially insensitive remarks."

NW News on 06/14/2018

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