Commissioner acting oddly
December 16, 2011 · Updated 2:56 PM
In the article about the disagreement over chairing the Island County Commissioners, Jessie Stensland reported that Commissioner Emerson accused her colleagues of directing the planning department “to take action against her.” Further, Emerson claimed, “the inappropriate conversations took place in executive sessions that she wasn’t allowed to attend.”
I worked for a California county for many years. California’s executive sessions can only involve personnel or legal matters. I personally attended many executive sessions as a member of the management negotiating team. Union members were not invited to attend.
Although I never attended any executive sessions about lawsuits, I saw elected officials and attorneys go into closed session. Whether the county was the defendant or the plaintiff, the opposing party was not invited to attend.
Kelly Emerson and her husband built without a permit and then sued Island County and some of the employees when the matter became public. Now, Emerson believes she should attend the executive sessions in which these legal matters are discussed.
Discussing issues other than legal matters is in itself illegal. Therefore, Commissioner Emerson not only accused commissioners Homola and Price-Johnson of lying, but she also essentially accused them of committing an illegal act. She did this in open session.
I find this behavior very unprofessional and very odd.
Linda H. Thom