Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Knee Replacements, Spine Replacements, etc.

    The doctors, nurses, and staff seem to be doing a splendid job with me today and tonight, and although I'm experiencing some pain, that's inevitable -- and perhaps exacerbated by trying to stay alert long enough to write something about the county.  That effort's been hindered by tiredness, pain, computer problems, brain problems, etc.  So I should write anything.
     Certainly I shouldn't write that the available evidence so far could be read to suggest that while I was in here getting a knee replacement some county commissioners should have been in here for a spine transplant.

  •      Their apparent public silence frustrates a large set of employees (as well as a lot of vendors, former employees, and contractors with strong feelings on the issues) who briefly had hopes for a fair investigation and serious consideration of whether or not serious management change(s) are necessarily; and
  •       At a time when they're (reasonably) asking citizens to vote to pay the County more money, they're shooting themselves in all their ten feet by not deigning to say anything about serious and debatable issues they had intended to take a deeper look at; and
  •        So far as the public aware, they're maintaining that silence and perhaps inaction based on the advice or lack of advice (or acquiescence) of a county counsel whom at least some of them would appear (fairly or unfairly) not to trust fully. Certainly those employees / ex-employees who thought that that County Counsel had some commissioners intimidated or otherwise under his control will read the present apparent inaction as further evidenced supporting their beliefs.  Particularly if everything now appears to them to be on the up-and-up and Mr. Caldwell and Ms. Padilla are doing a great job, the silence is unfortunate because it doesn't clear the least bit of air, while undermining people's receptiveness to some information if and when it's forthcoming.  That is, even if the present appearance isn't precisely accurate, the appearance itself is doing or compounding harm.
      I'm sure many citizens and vendors and employees hope things aren't as they seem.

      At the same time, the fact that they were in closed session for quite a long time (assuming it was not all discussing the collective bargaining issue) is good news, suggesting that they (or many of them) are working hard toward a fair, just, and sensible next step or set of next steps.  As I've said in other posts and columns, they're in a tough spot, perhaps a uniquely tough spot.
       Maybe the available facts -- that they apparently took a very long time, and were extraordinarily silent about the result -- should tell us that they have set in motion an appropriate step or steps and folks like me should shut up.  On the other hand,  they'd have needed to step delicately along the edge of the laws on open meetings.  Beats me!

       I'm far too tired now (and, yeah, in some pain and fighting technological difficulties) to write more, which is probably a good thing for all concerned. 

        Love you all!
                                                                            - p.

ps:  soon after turning computer off for the night, i had a further thought, though not the energy to try to add it.  that thought, which may seem kind of obvious or may seem rather odd in light of the tone and content of the post, depending upon your point of view, is simply that whatever with this particular issue, or any particular issue, i have tremendous respect and appreciation for the five commissioners.  Just watching a bit of yesterday's events real-time, I had the same reaction I often do: those commissioners do a tremendous volume of work on our behalf; beyond what we see, the time it takes to be prepared for such a variety of issues is significant; and, by and large, they are a sharp, diligent, and well-intentioned lot.  That doesn't get said as often as it should.  I sure wouldn't want to have to try to do all that they do.  
They met yesterday at 9 a.m.  Around 11:20 they still hadn't gone into closed session.  I heard from someone that the closed session itself lasted five hours or something.  Each of us gets to say our particular piece for a few minute then go home.

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