Friday, August 25, 2006

The Gift That Keeps On Giving...

Ahhh, Kootenai County. If we had our very own flag it would be red. Not for Republicans, though well it could be, but danger. The Commissioners are on the loose again.

The headline in the Spokesman Review read "A surprise development" and described the hows and whys of "soon to be former" Commissioner Gus Johnson's move into the vacant director's office of the Planning Commission.

On our way to Spokane for some shopping my other half and I swapped theories for this move. Here's mine. Mr. Johnson is soon to be out of a nice, well benefited county job. The Planning Commission job is open. By sitting in the office he'll absorb by osmosis all the intricacies and nuances of the job. He'll then determine the salary being offered is why the response for the position has been minimal and will push through a raise. By that time he will know more about the requirements than anyone else possibly could and suggest himself for the position. Since he and Ms. Brodie seem to be joined at the hip this will be a slam dunk even if odd man out Currie doesn't agree.

Just a theory, mind you.

Whoa. Wait a minute. I started this as a draft yesterday, Thursday. This morning the CDA Press had its take on the same subject. Funny. I could find no trace of it in the on line edition so I cannot provide a link. What was eerie about the story is the caveats paralled my (ahem) theory from yesterday right down to the need for a higher salary! Again, Ms. Brodie defended the action. No mention of the invisible Commissioner Currie in either story. Why is that?

As for the two who are soon to be out of office, I really do not understand what's with them. First there was their arrogance which got them booted out of office in the first place. Then there was the Huckleberries Blog fiasco where the popular site run by a Spokesman editor was banned from County computers.

The blogging community had a heyday with that one and after a time the ban was lifted. Note the "We are united" ribbon on many of our home pages.

Soon thereafter Mr. Johnson and Ms. Brodie were seen huddling together over dinner before a Commissioners' meeting bringing into question the rules regarding "open meeting" laws. Anyone know the meaning of the term "impropriety"? Now this.

More troubles me. As could be expected Ms. Brodie defended Johnson's action saying in essence it would give him an up close and personal perspective. Former Planning Director Rand Wichman, in emphasizing why the position needs to be filled sooner rather than later said "...the commissioners don't always understand what we do or why we do it." Hello??

While I question the motive of Mr. Johnson's rather transparent move, I must admit I think the Commissioners SHOULD know what the Planning Commission is doing and why. Is this not part of the reason we have commissioners?? I'm just not sure one needs to sit in their offices to accomplish that end. How long have these two been in office? They are just now deciding they should know what goes on in other departments? Whew. If there was ever an argument for part time commissioners and professional management, is this not it? Listen up Mr. Currie and newly electeds. If it is true all three of you have at one time or another been used car salesmen, don't believe slick talk will always get you by!

What is it with our local public servants? While Johnson and Brodie have been easy pickings these days, they are not singularly guilty of questionable actions. Maybe its our local smoke fest - it lowers a smothering haze over good sense and all things politic.


Word Tosser said...

If in fact that a commissioner needed to be in the office (and I agree, you don't have to move to the office to understand a dept.)
why wasn't Currie sent? He is the one who is staying.
Will there be fingerprints on the door sill where these two will be hanging on, while the two new ones will be swore in?
I am surprised they aren't doing what everyone else seems to be doing that got the boot, campaigning for a write in...
Talk about suction cups!

Bill McCrory said...

Johnson's explanation for office-glomming made no sense at all. I'd agree the Commissioners should learn more about the operations of the departments they oversee, but wouldn't you think they'd do that as they're coming in the door and not going out? What's with Kootenai County's practice of electing people out in May but letting them remain in office until January? Yikes!

stebbijo said...

That is a pretty smooth move - do you think he will stick?