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Kaysville city manager apologizes for controversial email

Posted at 11:07 PM, Feb 15, 2021

KAYSVILLE, Utah — An e-mail sent by the Kaysville city manager is raising eyebrows.

In the message to city employees discussing COVID-19 safety precautions sent last week, city manager Shayne Scott wrote: "Whether you choose to get vaccinated or not is up to you. It is my hope that as a society we will discriminate against those that choose not to get a vaccine."

The message has since been posted on social media and has been the subject of backlash.

Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt discussed the issue with FOX 13.

“We do not discriminate in the city of Kaysville along any line, and we won’t pick up vaccinations as something to discriminate about,” she said.

She said no employee will face any discrimination or disciplinary action if they decline to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Everybody’s situation is different. I have a child with cystic fibrosis, and we are getting our vaccinations,” Witt said. “I trust people to make decisions for themselves and their families.”

She added that Scott will not be fired or asked to resign for what she described as an error with putting his personal opinion in the e-mail.

“I don’t buy into the cancel culture, and Shayne Scott is an excellent city manager,” Witt said. “I am not going to throw anybody away because of their opinion. Absolutely not. That is un-American.”

In an e-mail, Scott told FOX 13 he was unable to interview for this story.

This weekend, he sent this e-mail to staff apologizing for the original message:


Hello. Happy Sunday. Just when I apologize for sending you two emails in two days, here comes a third.

I’m sure many of you know that my emails to you have been circulating the city and social media. While I regret the negative attention, my greatest concern is you, our employees.

I know many of us have different beliefs when it comes to this vaccine, and I overstepped in sharing mine. My intent was to just encourage and never to shame. We can disagree on this, masks, and really anything and still do great work together.

I’m so sorry if my email felt shaming to anyone. I don’t want to shame anyone for not getting the vaccine. I know many people individually that work in our city that have chosen to not get the vaccine. I had my own reservations about the vaccine early on. Those that choose to not get the vaccine are every bit as valuable to me and our organization as anyone that has. My hope has always been each person makes good decisions as we interact with each other and that each employee makes their own decisions for themselves about their health and the health of their families.

I am sorry for my choice of words. Period. I want what’s best for this city and the employees that work here. I hope that I will be judged on my 5 years in Kaysville and not one email exchange. I am humbled and grateful for mistakes that make me a better person and hopefully a better City Manager.

The policy at Kaysville City has been and remains for everyone to choose for themselves to get this vaccine or not!

I remain invested in you and your service to Kaysville as an employee. I will continue to work to improve myself as the City Manager as long as it is the best thing for Kaysville. I love my job and I’m grateful for each of you.

Thank you and I’m sorry!