In order to cool the controversy the BOC started when they brought up privatizing EMS, Comm. Pennamon brought up the idea of a committee to decide what should be done about EMS at the June 3, 2013 meeting.  It is very concerning that the whole idea seems to be a delay tactic to keep the heat off the commissioners for the time being.  Watch this video of discussion at the June 17 meeting:

Comm. Luke wants to make it clear that the BOC does not appoint but only approves the members that are chosen for this committee.  Comm. Pennamon (at 0:50 on the video) responds, “Not necessarily approve but accept.”  Then he laughs. 

At 1:00 on the video, Lorri Smith states, Once the committee makes their recommendation, you will just accept their recommendations, but that doesn’t mean you have to take action.”  This is typical of how all BOC appointed committees have worked in the past.  The citizens work hard, bring up good and bad, most always have solutions, and then the BOC thanks them and dismisses them, and the BOC does what they please anyway.

It was also brought up during this conversation that the EMS is concerned that there is no School Board rep on the committee.  The EMS staff was concerned because EMS is present at the school ball games.  No comment was made by any BOC member.

Questions:  Does the School Board reimburse the county for this special service?  The School Board charges the county any time a gymnasium is used for Recreation.  Isn’t it possible that overtime is accrued when the EMS employees are at the games?

The new County Manager will be facilitating this committee.  We hope the committee will be allowed to work without constraints placed on it so that everything can be discussed.

At present the following have chosen representatives:

Hospital-Jan Gaston
Hillsboro-Patricia Tillman
Sheriff-Mike Steele
EMS-BOC mentioned but did not give name

Yet to pick a representative: Turtle Cove, City of Monticello, City of Shady Dale, BOC (will this be the County Manager or a commissioner?), and Health Dept.

We will post it on the blog when we find out the dates of the committee meetings.

By the way, we are wondering if any EMS personnel will be allowed to attend these meetings.  The EMS director was suspended (read here) because 3 or 4 EMT/Paramedics attended the BOC meeting one evening in uniform to find out what was being discussed during a budget meeting.  It was obvious during the meeting that the commissioners were not happy and cut the meeting short.

It would be interesting to see how this board would react if the entire courthouse was packed as it was in 2009 when privatizing came up before.  At that meeting the BOC allowed everyone a chance to speak, and no one was reprimanded or suspended.  It is called transparency.

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  1. Just Askin" says:

    Are the commissioners going to allow the new county manager to run the meetings or is Lorri Smith going to continue to run the show from now on? It is about time she left so we can see if the commissioners know anything or can do anything on their own.

  2. L.Short says:

    The first sign of an incompetent and cowardly leadership is the passing off of their sworn duty/responsibility onto a committee, generally referenced “as passing the buck.”

    What happened to all the bluster of the great managerial skill, vast planning expertise and responsibility to the citizenry that the anointed ones so thickly bandied about during the 2011 camping season?

    True leadership (not the sycophantic type issued by a Team Certificate) leads from the front, and not from behind, an appointed committee.

    A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. —Douglas MacArthur

    And as matter of noteworthiness, public servants of good moral character do not conduct the business of the people under the cloak of secrecy.

    John 3:20 – Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

  3. Carl says:

    Neither the BOC or interim county manager give any kind of **** about your providers. Does anyone REALLY remember 9/11? Everyone want to do their part and salute the ” heros”.. especially when its politically expedient. The interim county manager was opposed to EMS being on the square to do blood pressure checks and blood sugar checks, until members of her church praised those actions, then, she was all about supporting them. This county stands to lose a lot if Mr. Jackson is removed from his position. Very few, unless they work for the EMS or fire, will recognize an immediate difference. Does anyone remember when those who served us were doing just that? Serving us. They weren’t a line item on a budget or a cost. THEY were our heros. They are always there when we need them. This county, once gain, has a choice to make. It’s not easy, or cheap. But,WE do get what we pay for

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