The sudden discharge and public humiliation of attorney Kent Borchard are a disgrace to our community and to ethical human resources practices. No employee or contractor deserves to be fired without due process, written notice, and some sense of justice, especially not folks with 10 years’ service.
Performance issues and contractual obligations should be discussed privately and employees provided the opportunity to respond. An ethical employer does not conduct a public hanging nor cast a dark shadow on the lives of people ready to retire.
In addition to being disrespectful, possibly in violation of sunshine rules, and potentially very costly to tax payers, this public demeanor raises many additional issues about the morals and ethics of our small community.
Where is dignity and respect in a small town where residents look out for each other with kindness and thoughtfulness? What messages have the commissioners sent concerning mistrust about government at any level? Why would anyone want to work for Rio Blanco County if your income could be eliminated without warning and your reputation trashed in public? How can a community sustain and thrive with an undercurrent of mistrust and retribution?
I am a fairly new member of this community and I wasn’t at the meeting nor do I personally know Kent Borchard. But I do know that there are more civil ways to address employee performance issues, retirement, and staff transition than rude public dismissals.
The Meeker community has a long history of respect, kindness and due process. As citizens, we have a right to expect these same virtues from our elected officials who were after all, elected to serve us.