I join the chorus of voices raised against the decision to bypass the county’s hiring process and retain Sen. Don Benton as environmental services director. The decision, however, is not surprising.
Elections have consequences. David Madore painted a clear picture of the changes he would make if elected commissioner, and he is implementing his agenda. Commissioner Tom Mielke is playing his Sancho Panza role to approve whatever Madore wants.
As a result, a new Interstate 5 Bridge to enhance our chances for economic growth is jeopardized and the chief legislative opponent of the bridge, Benton, is hired to oversee environmental issues. But that is only the beginning. The parks department is being further dismantled, the county budget is rewritten piecemeal to pay for campaign promises, increasing an already significant budget deficit, which can only be made up by cuts to other programs.
As the wrecking ball swings, County Administrator Bill Barron is retiring because of the havoc these decisions cause, and county staff is compromised in its objective presentations by Madore’s “helping” write their reports to “spin” the issues.
We will survive Madore and his ideological crusade if the public remains as energized as it was at the May 7 meeting. Failing that, the wrecking ball will continue to swing.