August 17, 2004
The daughter of a top Boeing executive is one of three semifinalists to replace former Mesa library director Patsy Hansel, who resigned last winter amid a sexual harassment scandal.
Cynthia Koopman is the daughter of Ed Koopman, general manager of the Boeing facility in Mesa.
Some city officials say Ed Koopman and Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker are friends.
The two have been featured in a United Way fundraising video in which they rode together into the downtown Marriott Hotel on Hawker’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
The mayor said Friday he’s not sure he would call it a friendship. He also said he didn’t realize Cynthia Koopman was the daughter of the Boeing executive and Mesa United Way campaign chairman.
Joe Holmwood, Mesa’s community services manager, confirmed they are father and daughter.
However, Holmwood said he only learned that Monday and that neither he nor any of the city panel knew so when they selected the three candidates from a nationwide pool of 41.
Holmwood, to whom the new library director will report, said Koopman won’t receive special treatment. "I do think we have three strong candidates," Holmwood said.
Cynthia Koopman began working at Boeing in 1995, and is now an executive. She has a master’s degree in technology management from the University of Miami — and no library experience.
The other candidates are Barbara Gubbin, Houston’s library director since 1995. She has a master’s degree in library and information studies from University College, University of London. And, David Gunckel, the library director in Sierra Vista since 1984. He has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Arizona.
The new library director will oversee the library system for the third largest city in Arizona.
With three branches, Mesa’s library system has nearly 200 employees, a yearly budget of $10 million, and 3.2 million circulating items.
The City Council doesn’t have a say in the selection, which pays $83,554 to $112,486 a year. City Manager Mike Hutchinson does.
The panel, made up of library professionals and representatives from city management, is scheduled to interview the candidates Friday.
Hansel, 56, resigned in December, after a city investigation concluded that she had harassed a female library employee by making sexual comments and touching the woman’s hair.
City officials gave Hansel a second chance, paying consultants more than $12,000 to work on her managerial style and ease tensions with library staff members.
However, another investigation found she retaliated against a library supervisor who had backed the employee who filed the sexual harassment complaint.
Officials said her only choice then was to resign or be fired. Hansel consistently denied all allegations.
Neither Cynthia nor Ed Koopman could be reached for comment Monday.