Interviews laced with ideology

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Dear Editor,

I don’t attend a lot of Board of County Commissioners meetings but felt compelled to attend the meeting at which the interviews of candidates for appointment to the planning commission was to take place. It was an astounding experience.

First, I was shocked at the obviously pre-conceived positions of the commissioners. It was disappointing to watch Commissioner (Lynn) Padgett as she disgorged her ideological intransigence, was overtly demeaning and inappropriate when questioning applicants John Baskfield and Tim Currin. Padgett publicly dressed down these two solid members of our community who have dedicated time, energy and expertise to serve as volunteers on the planning commission.

When it was time for the BOCC to interview Jack Flowers, it was clear Padgett was still stinging from recent memories of his candidacy for commissioner and was confused by the interview process and demonstrated her inability to keep straight who had said what. Attributing comments made by Jack Flowers to Darus Jutten and stating that both Jutten and Jackman had “longevity” in the county when it is Flowers who has lived on Log Hill Mesa since 1969. Unlike Commissioners Batchelder and Fedel, Padgett refused to acknowledge Flowers’ historical perspectives or his dedication to serve on numerous and varied boards in Ouray County and the southwest Colorado region. Where Flowers was concerned, Padgett was petty. Her support of another candidate who had not been active in planning commission issues could only be attributed to her antagonism to Mr. Flowers.

In an effort to address the need for “diversity” on the planning board the commissioners made token reference to affiliations of the candidates but paid no attention to those affiliations when the discussion moved into internal debate among them. It didn’t seem to cause any concern that the majority of the planning commission are members of ROCC whereas there was apparently concern that members of the Cattleman’s Association couldn’t be unbiased in their thinking.

Commisioners Fedel and Batchelder made an anemic attempt to balance the board by their proffered positions on the candidates but were overwhelmed by the incessant “position-pushing” of Commissioner Padgett.

All in all, I found the interview process to be a sham and a poorly disguised expression of ideology.


W. Steven Bailey

Log Hill Resident