To the editor:
Perception as defined by Doubleday dictionary is to perceive, be aware through the senses.
I attended the commissioners meeting Jan. 4. Several things occurred to me after this meeting.
The week before this meeting, I contacted the commissioners by phone and email expressing my concerns about them not posting the director of human resources position outside the county. The commissioners had posted other director positions outside the county, most recently the public works director position.
The chairperson at that time, Mr. Stensrud, stated they had pretty much decided who they wanted for that position and proceeded to defend his position.
Within 24 hours of this phone call, the chairperson had called me back questioning if I had any involvement in an article that was in the Marshall Independent and stated there could be lawsuits. Keep in mind that the commissioners recently moved the meeting to different times to create interest from the community to attend meetings. How do the commissioners realistically expect community interest when, if a resident calls to express their views, they are threatened with retaliation for their opinions?
That feeling continued when as I entered the meeting room, Mr. Stensrud leaned to whisper to the county administrator that "that's Wayne West." A much more appropriate response would have been for Mr. Stensrud to apologize for his "investigative techniques" he used over the phone the week before.
As I listened to the oaths being given for the newly elected individuals, I noticed the phrase in each oath to "impartially discharge their duties...."
I ask each commissioner to look at their actions to see if they are impartial! Preselection and limiting the scope on a posted position to steer one candidate into a position is not impartial. At your next meeting you should vote to expand the area of consideration in order to find the best candidate and not just your choice of a candidate. Ideally, the position should be withdrawn and the money used for more important projects.
When Don DeLanghe was speaking, he stated it felt like the commissioners were retaliating against him for giving input on the landfill issues to the commissioners.
I know the feeling he had because of my experience the week before.
Perception. The commissioners may feel that they are impartial, but they must look at what perception the community has of their actions. In addition, the commissioners should not allowed the county administrator to interview candidates nor make the selection since he currently supervises one of the candidates.
The commissioners should not be seen as placing a candidate into a position, but let the candidates stand on their own merits.
Different viewpoints are beneficial in solving problems and the commissioners should not exclude viewpoints from their constituents.