To The Daily Sun,
Well folks don't look now but our county government is as messed up and dysfunctional as ever. I know we went to the polls in November and voted-out a failed administration and elected new leadership. The last act by the previous county commissioners, Mr. Ed Philpot, Mr. John Thomas, and Mr. Steven Nedeau, was to sign a contract with County Administrator Debra Shackett that is absurdly bad and certainly not in the best interest of the taxpayers. They did this on the last day of their tenure to show their utter contempt and disdain for their fellow citizens, us the taxpayers.
This contract protects a county administrator who is unqualified to be in her position and never has been from day one. Everyone in this county believes as I do, that she was awarded this position merely because she had the right connections and not by any objective measure of credentials. This administration is responsible for costing us thousands in legal fees and mismanaging the whole operation.
We elected two new commissioners Mr. Richard Burchell, and Mr. David DeVoy. They promised change and a house cleaning of the bad management. Also, shortly after the election Steven Nedeau resigned as the last sitting commissioner which was a good thing. Mr. Hunter Taylor was appointed to fill that vacancy. Finally it seemed we had a good team to fix the problems at the county facilities.
Now it seems that our county government has been hijacked by a slick-talking New Jersey lawyer who wrote many long and verbose letters in this paper railing against the poor leadership and bad management at the county. Also Mr. DeVoy it turns out is nothing but a wooden dummy sitting on his knee nodding in agreement to all. These two have ganged up on Mr. Burchell and have effectively cut him out of all debate and are ignoring public input. They bring up motions to be voted on, have a short discussion then vote. Mr. Burchell is always the odd man out even though he is the one who wants to do what is right for us.
Mr. Taylor is an appointed commissioner and never was elected by the people. I am now wondering if the convention can unappoint him. It seems that Mr. Taylor and Mr. DeVoy have forgotten why they were placed in these positions.
Actually most of the work is already done. In the past six months, we have lost the finance director, the human resources director, the county corrections director and a host of others. Also the nursing staff at county nursing home is a revolving door, with nursing staff hired then quitting after a few weeks. One of these nurses was quoted as saying upon leaving "that she had never worked in a more vicious place in her life." I think that tells it all.
Ms. Shackett said that nursing homes all have a staffing and retention problems. Another half truth by her. The reality is while some nursing homes do, those that are well run with good pay and benefits do not. The county nursing homes in our state do not have this problem but Belknap County does. The reason for this lays squarely on the shoulders of the management, starting at the top. Doesn't good leadership start at the top?
I cannot fathom why Mr. Taylor and Mr. DeVoy are now protecting her and going back on what they said they were going to do. Our county government is a mess. I fear for the residents of our nursing home, not because they have poor nursing help that is not true, the nursing staff there is good, but they suffer and are intimidated by the terrible management they are forced to work under.
Management that makes poor decisions then cover for each other. I call on my fellow taxpayers to be vigilant. Call these guys and tell them to fix it.
We need new leadership across the board in our county management especially at the nursing home. I am calling for replacement of county administrator, nursing home director, director of nursing, and the entire supervisory staff. This is what is best for the residents of the nursing home and us taxpayers.
- Category: Letters
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