LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Feb 4, 2021

Hospital jackets frivolous

Dear Editor:
The new jackets bought by Rangely Hospital for board members and hospital staff are very sharp looking, but is this the best use of hospital money or mill levy money?

Thursday, Jan. 28, I had received my tax bill for the year and of course was all the listed raises in taxes, the biggest of all being the hospitals. Later that evening I attended the monthly hospital board meeting.

When I walked in, I saw John Payne handing out new wind breaker type jackets to all the board members. When I confronted him about who bought the jackets and was this the best way to spend hospital money, he laughed.

The next day I had to get a referral from the doctor and while I was at the hospital, I noticed all staff were wearing the new jackets that I saw the night before.

Had I not attended the meeting I wouldn’t have known of the frivolous spending.

Nor would you.

René Harden
Rangely


Saddened by Morlan dismissal

Dear Editor:
I was once again saddened to see an article on the front page related to the commissioners’ public dismissal of a competent, long-serving public employee. It has only been two years since two of the same members of this commission provided us with a similar headline concerning the county attorney.

I worked with Mr. Morlan for eight years, and having been a member of the commission which initially appointed him to the position of road and bridge director, I find it difficult to imagine circumstances which would justify his dismissal in this unseemly manner.

In my opinion, we should be publicly recognizing the many accomplishments of Mr. Morlan during his years of service to Rio Blanco County. He has developed an efficient, cost-effective department capable of detailing out critical infrastructure projects and seeing them through to completion. Dave has also shown his dedication in providing citizens of our county with safe roadways, clear of snow and debris, bridges which are at or above state standards, and in many other signs of a quality professional career.

I am well aware that there are laws which, in the interests of protecting an employee’s privacy, prevent public discussion of personnel matters. And it is certainly true that the commissioners are granted the power to make such decisions by the State of Colorado. However, as the saying goes, “Might doesn’t make right” and I cannot see where this dismissal — one year short of his planned retirement — is the right thing to do and in the best interests of Rio Blanco County. The conduct of this affair, and that with the county attorney in 2019, does not speak well of these Commissioners.

Disrespect for employees cannot lead to a good working environment with high staff morale and quality services being provided to the residents of the county. These now-former employees deserve, at least, a public apology and thanks for their years of service to the residents of Rio Blanco County. Elected officials should appreciate that county employees are also county residents, citizens, and voters who deserve to be treated with respect.

Ken Parsons
Former RBC Commissioner
Rangely