Tuesday, July 1, 2008

County Board Meeting Update-July 1, 2008

County Board Meeting Update-July 1, 2008
• Chris Jensen pharmacy contract delayed
• EEOC Complaint Still of concern

At their Board meeting on July 1st the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners voted to table the decision regarding the pharmacy contract at the Chris Jensen Nursing Home (see Blog entries for April 3 and June 2, 2008). Reasons cited for the delay included the absence of Commissioner Nelson, due to illness, and questions other commissioners still had regarding the contract. The decision will be considered at the next meeting scheduled for July 8th in Duluth.

Kathy Heltzer, We are Watching Spokesperson. addressed the Board regarding the recent Committee of the Whole meeting during which time the Board discussed the refusal of the County Administrator to place the County Attorney, Melanie Ford, on the Board agenda. County Attorney Ford had asked to speak to the Board regarding the most recent complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (see Blog entry “Raukar and Fink Harassment Charges” dated June 5, 2008) Administrator Mitchell refused to place County Attorney Ford on the agenda and Commissioners Nelson and Fink supported his decision. As a part of the discussion, Administrator Mitchell indicated that there had been a meeting of the “Ethics Committee” as indicated by the “Code of Conduct” although there were no minutes of this meeting and no record of the content or outcome of the meeting. It was clear that this was the first that the county attorney had heard of such a meeting! This raises obvious concerns regarding the ongoing conduct of some commissioners, especially related to the EEOC complaints and the handling of these complaints prior to their being filed with the EEOC. These were the very issues that prompted the “We are Watching” campaign’s inception in August of 2007.

We are Watching

As we continue to watch the County Commissioners both we and the commissioners benefit.

Openness helps strengthen government.