Commissioner Fred Messerle did his best to shield structure advisory committee co-chairs, Jon Barton and Al Pettit from public discussion last Tuesday when they hastily presented the committee report and then skedaddled out the door without hearing any public comment. The presentation was not listed on the agenda instead being brought before the commission as a late agenda item and Messerle further deflected questions and criticism by saying there wouldn’t be time for public comments.
Barton presented binders with a report available online and claims the conclusions are the consensus opinion of the committee. Unfortunately, much of the deliberations and any consensus reached occurred outside of public view, a clear violation of Oregon statutes. Further, Pettit tells the board that this report is the “employees talking to you” and if “ninety, eighty percent of the employees had said everything was hunky dory we wouldn’t be sitting here.” Presumably, Pettit means ninety percent of the twenty percent who answered the committee’s questionnaires but again we the public can’t know that because the committee has so far refused to release even the redacted completed responses.
The flip side of Pettit’s comment is that eighty percent of the county staff didn’t feel it necessary to fill out the questionnaires and maybe the twenty percent sampling isn’t a valid poll.
This video clip doesn’t include it but you can watch Cam Parry apologize to Barton and Pettit for the heat they took from the public during their “public service”. [Begins at 1:52:00] It is too bad that none of the commissioners thought it worth defending public employees when Pettit publicly accused public employees of being parasites, “living off the backs of others”. All we got from Parry and the board then were crickets.