I have received a letter back from Mr. Borchard on some of my questions. Some of you may wonder why I sent a letter directly to him. This is simple, because every e-mail I have sent to any of our county officials on my questions have been sent directly to him. One must ask why? What about a direct, honest question causes such concern that a lawyer must be involved? I have made my questions very public, and will continue doing so. However, answers may not come as easy. I will ask again, what is so fearful about being honest, open, accountable and transparent?
My question about the Joslin house is this: It is now vacant, but still no answers on who paid for the upkeep. Was there renter’s insurance? Taxes? Was the rent being paid comparable to what the rest of the public has to pay? What was being paid? Who assumed the liability? Who thought this was the best use of the property? None of those questions were answered.
I have been told I can attend a meeting with the commissioners. Why is it so hard to answer in written format? Again, I ask, why is this information not accessible through the Internet for the majority of the public? Hey, here is one more idea: How about having all the commissioner and town meetings posted via the Internet? Film it, post it for view of any of those who can’t or don’t want to set through a meeting. This can be done through a free Web site setup like Facebook or Twitter. Then the video can be posted, even go through YouTube. One can watch the video and post comments, that is simple enough isn’t it? Again, make policy, government, and politics in reach of all people. Very few people want to work all day, clean up and then go to a meeting that may cause them to be scrutinized by public officials. Oh, and here is another thought: It is posted for the world to see, no missing notes, no closed-door meetings. That should make everyone think. I would think even our legal staff should agree to this. After all, what is there to hide? There is a different mindset when people know that they are being observed, with their thoughts and actions out there for everyone to see.
My second question about our local COGCC officer … no answer. No idea if he gets two paychecks or not. No answer on if this is a conflict of interest or not.
Third question: This was about job descriptions, reviews, hire and fire policy. I have been referred to Teresa Anderson and Laura Smith. I have not pursued this one yet, but I will. I am really wanting to know why so many people in the courthouse are related, and how this best serves the public who pays their wages. Please do not think I am saying that these people don’t do a good job. I am asking if hiring so many people who are related is a sound business practice, or is it always the best person for the job? I also would like to know how one of our employees makes as much as our county commissioners? How is that OK? Do we have a fourth commissioner we don’t really know about? How about a vote on that one?
My long list of questions to the building department has ended up in a open invitation to come down and visit. I prefer to have these in writing. Why? Because it is out there for all to see. For anyone out there who would like a question to be asked of the building department/codes/policy and so on, contact me. No reason for you to get your name on the lawyer list. I will ask whatever is needed and do so without using your name.
Please, if you care about your community, get involved. This is everyone’s town, and county. It should represent everyone, not just those who make policies. That can not happen if you do not use your voice or your hand in writing a letter.
Michelle E. Hale