Sunday, November 26, 2023

Easy Sunday: Part Two


Jackson County Counsel:  It's on me.

The Jackson County Counsel, Joel Benton, wrote me to say that authority for making fee waivers had been delegated to him and he exercised that authority. Moreover,
"I did not confer with anyone else when I reviewed Ms. Krause’s request for a waiver or reduction of the fee for her request."

I will take him at his word. 

When I was county commissioner forty years ago, a decision that involved interaction with a highly visible citizen group involving the very structure of local government would have been made in consultation and concurrence of the county commissioners. The elected commissioners were responsible for what the county did -- its decisions, its actions, its reputation. The buck stopped with us, not staff. 

That's why we got paid.

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LBA said...

It's not clear that Benton did not confer with others at some other point in this episode. Denise Krause submitted TWO requests for a fee waiver or reduction. The first was rather summary and was rejected immediately; the second submission was far more detailed. Benton refers to "request" in the singular. We don't know if consultations occurred after Krause petitioned DA Heckert, and/or Benton crafted his response to the DA (and, of course, his lengthy dialog with the author of this blog). Was he speaking on his own and employing his personal "opinion" (his term) from start to finish?

Did Danny Jordan and/or the Commissioners become aware, act as leaders and supervisors, and take responsibility at any time? I agree that this appears to evidence an over delegation of authority and policymaking power.

Ed Cooper said...

It would seem that the 3 Dolts on the Dais are avoiding any comments on this matter, which is not surprising that it's quite apparent they are nothing but rubber stamps for whatever Danny Jordan wants done.
I had an involved Citizen sign our Petitions yesterday, with the express purpose for signing being to see a Board of Commissioners with the courage to rein in Danny Jordan, or preferably, fire him.

Ed Cooper said...

LBA; I was not aware the County Counsel had responded to the District Attorneys Order. Am I being naive in assuming that the only appropriate response from Benton should have been "Yes, Ma'am"?

Up Close: Road to the White House said...

I have written all three commissioners today, asking if they will confirm the County Counsel's statement that he did not confer with anyone, including them. For a County Counsel to belittle a citizen group seems by asserting that they weren't really able to communicate with a significant body of people on an issue of public concern seems provocative to me. And it makes the commissioners look anti-transparent. When I was a commissioner that would never have happened, but things are different now. Apparently this group delegates more than we did forty years ago.

I will wait to see if the commissioners confirm that Joel was telling the truth. I presume he was, but it will be nice to have the commissioners confirm it on the record. Then we can deal with the other half of the problem. Do commissioners delegate to staff the job of making weak, unsustainable arguments to obstruct salary inquiries -- arguments that the local DA dismisses? I would think the commissioners would want to exercise some leadership here. As I wrote in the blog: that is why they get paid.

I don't have a lot of evidence that the commissioners have turned the county wholly over to staff, even though that is the opinion "on the street." But this incident doesn't look good for the commissioners either way. Either this was their doing, giving the OK to staff to hassle and belittle the charter-update group or as the County Counsel said, it is all his doing because they don't really lead. My instinct is to trust what Joel said. He was clear and direct. Let's see if the commissioners are as well.

Ed Cooper said...

Thank you, Peter. It's no small wonder I start my mor ings by opening your blog.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen discussed "ad nauseum." All of this wasted time and energy over a legitimate charge for old, archived records. Not to mention that the request is unnecessary and stupid in the first place.

Wow, you are quite the local superhero now!! Go get 'em!!

Anonymous said...

Correction: The correct spelling is "ad nauseam" (my bad)

Up Close: Road to the White House said...

To Anonymous:
No need to read to the point of nausea. I don't expect that. Please keep reading, yes, but stop if you feel ill.

The point I have been making, apparently not clearly, is that the$284 is utterly trivial What is iportant is the fact that the county instinct was not to say, "sure,, we have nothing to hid, let us be helpful." It was to do the opposite, by making a case that even the DA thought was weak.

This is about how the county chooses to message on this issue. They chose poorly. This blog is about political messaging, not nitpicking 25% discounts on $284 dollar items.

But I took a risk. The risk is that some readers, like the seasick one here, takes the REAL message that I am making to be one of fighting over trivialities. That might be the real message I am sending out. If so, it backfired on me.

I would be hoist on my own petard--an excellent irony.

Ed Cooper said...

And despite never having a single constructive criticism, or anything at all worthwhile to add, here you are, still reading the Opinion Blog.

Ed Cooper said...

I'm quite confident that the average reader of this Blog got your point from the start, as it was quite clearly explained.
As a young Lieutenant in the Army many decades ago, I was taken under the wing of a crusty older Chief Warrant Officer, who poundrd into me over and over:
" Never Forget, no matter how well you clearly explain your points, there will always be at least 10 percent of your audience who will not get the word"