At the July 1 Work Session of the Board of Commissioners, I informed the Commissioners I had a short public comment I would like to read.
Commissioner Dan Shoun immediately said, “We do not take public comments at Work Sessions.” I, believing that he was having a “senior” moment, informed Shoun that public comments had always been taken during Work Sessions. I said, “It’s on the Agenda,” and that, “The paragraph describing the guidelines and allowing for public comments has always been on the agenda.” Shoun then glanced around the room at the other Commissioners and Denise Thorsted, the administrative assistant. Receiving no support from them, he then looked back at me and said that they would hear my comment at 10:00 a.m. Shoun has been in office eight years and should know better.
Later during the Work Session, John Price, president of the Oregon Outback Mining Company, gave a scheduled update on their Sunstone operation and the upcoming Sunstone Festival at Plush. At this time, Commissioner Ken Kestner noticed James Ross wanted to ask a question. Ross wanted to know how many individuals would be employed and about retention of employees. Once Price happily answered these questions, Commissioner Winters asked him if he was through with his presentation. Price said, “Yes.” Winters abruptly and impatiently told John Price and James Ross that if they needed to speak further to take it out to the hall.
I was shocked. John Price is trying to promote a business providing employment and economic advantage to our local community and he was stopped from sharing information with the public. Winters is not the designated chairperson this year but his rudeness prevails. Winters has been in office 14 years and should conduct himself better.