by: Diane Benjamin
Your elected County Officials have been keeping citizens in the dark for years. They don’t believe you have the right to know details about the people you elect, if the elected are qualified to do their job, or if they are fiscally responsible. Worse, the information is not available under the Freedom of Information Act because they claim exception based on employee confidentiality.
Board Chairman Matt Sorensen came close when he held a quick press conference last year to defend Lee Newcom and the bogus claims made against him by the Pantagraph pertaining to travel expenses. The chairman didn’t completely tell the truth: a County employee (elected!) is responsible for giving the bogus information to the Pantagraph. The damage was done and that employee got what was wanted. Last November the citizens re-elected Lee and also voted to abolish his office. The citizens are losing their most fiscally responsible elected official, but being conservative and working for the County evidently aren’t compatible, the truth still hasn’t been told.
Then there was this note in the April 16, 2013 Board Meeting Minutes:
Report of the County Administrator
1) Items to be Presented for Action
a) EXECUTIVE SESSION: Pending Litigation
Since it was handled in Executive Session, what “pending litigation” will probably never be made public. Is it one case? Two or three or more? Worse, if the County is involved in a lawsuit with a former employee, nobody is held accountable If a former employee files a claim with EEOC, the lawsuit is totally confidential. The County could pay damages, an elected official could have been named in the suit, and the citizens are not entitled to any details. The government slaves (citizens) have no accountability, we just pay the bill.
But there is another issue involving a County elected official. Since the County Administrator refuses to release any information under the Freedom of Information Act, I can only provide limited information:
One elected official has great difficulty getting along with people. This person has no managerial ability, but prefers to use power supposedly given by winning an election to intimidate others.
Duties have been removed from the office for the above stated reason. Salary, however, has not been reduced. The number of employees in the office is down to 2 from 5 because this person is impossible to work for.
Think the County Board or Chairman is going to say anything public? Don’t you think the public should be aware of who got voted into office? What else are they hiding?
Sorry to be cryptic, but I need more “insiders” if the information is ever going to be public.