To The Daily Sun,
While I'm not comfortable having to publicly defend myself, I feel that I must respond to the malicious comments submitted by Mr. Gordon Blais.
I absolutely met the combined education and experience requirements for the position I hold. The appointment was offered to me after an extensive and competitive recruitment process. I have earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, been recognized as a Certified Public Manager, and most recently was designated a Credentialed Manager by the ICMA. Mr. Blais continues to question and criticize the county's decision to hire me. Not that questioning is a bad thing, but persisting to print false information is intentionally misleading the public.
Mr. Blais has done extensive research to try to find anything that will support his misguided opinion, requesting my personnel files, the county's recruitment process, contacting legislators, former employers, current employees, and to his discontent, has not been able to support any of his libelous statements.
He did get my salary correct. I consider myself fortunate to have a great job that I work hard at and sincerely enjoy. When compared to equivalent positions in New Hampshire, my compensation is in the lower half of the range. I am one of "those in our community who worked hard and went into debt to get the educational training that qualified me for a position like this" (his words). Not to mention the required years of experience. The message that sends to kids is that hard work, discipline, and advanced education can lead to a rewarding career. A very good message and something I am proud of.
Belknap County is well managed by a team of professionals who operate with honor, humility and integrity. In a difficult political environment they work hard every day to maintain the morale of more than 260 employees who are engaged in providing excellent service, in often difficult situations, to the public.
I hope you will contact me directly, or any of the county's leadership if you have questions and would like accurate answers about the operation of Belknap County.
Debra A Shackett,
Belknap County Administrator