COMMENTARY: Reader upset with Jackson County Board “shenanigans” 

by Aug 22, 2018OPINIONS


Last night, I attended the Jackson County Board of Commissioners meeting specifically to apologize to Commissioner Charles Elders.

I was appointed to the DSS (Department of Social Services) Board last year.  The commissioners voted to combine the Health Department with DSS this year and the commissioners offered me a seat on that combined Health Services Board.  From the very first meeting, complaints have been logged ad nauseam and ad infinitum regarding the reasons for the Commissioners decision.  In fact, one board member made a motion to have the county manager request from the Commissioners a written explanation for the merger of the two departments.

At the first Board meeting, one member resigned after being sworn-in.  To say it has been contentious is putting it mildly!  The Commissioners declined to submit a letter, so the new Health Services Board member that submitted the original request made a motion to withhold consent on hiring a director for the combined departments “until after the November elections.” I thought I would be serving on a Board that would help people, not serving on a Board that wanted to usurp the powers of the elected Board of Commissioners.  The newly formed Health Services Board is not an elected Board.  The county did not have an opportunity to vote on those appointments.  The Jackson County Board of Commissioners, however, were elected by the people of the county.  That is a political move pure and simple.  However, I was having trouble with how to respond to the motion – should I say “aye’ or “nay?”  I said “aye”.  Upon reflection, I determined I made an error in that vote.

The Commissioners’ vote to combine DSS and the Health Department was 3-2 split along party lines.  The reason the combined Board member made the motion to forestall the hiring of a new Combined Board Director until after the election was a political move, hoping to put a liberal in Commissioner Charles Elders’ seat in November so that the liberal could dissolve the union.  She has already stated she will do that if elected! I don’t even think she has participated in any fact finding from other counties who have succeeded in the merger!

The contention is because it creates a new position – director over the combined Departments.  Yet, isn’t that what the Left always seeks – an increase in government jobs?  Bill Clinton heartily approved such events, as does the Democratic Party. The reason for these shenanigans is to try to dislodge Charles Elders from his seat on the County Commissioners to put in a liberal who has already stated she plans to dissolve the union if elected.

Charles Elders is one of the finest men in this county.  He cares a great deal more about service to those in need than do those jockeying with politics.  Elders would like to see the new Health Services Department become more efficient and cost saving.  Other counties have reported this came about for them, according to some of the other Commissioners.  It doesn’t necessarily mean it would for Jackson County, but more oversight is a good thing.

I apologize to you, Charles Elders, for falling into that political trap.  I volunteered to serve on the DSS Board and Health Services Board to give back to this wonderful community.  I did not expect to be pressured into this political mess.  Shame on those who try to jam politics down people’s throats!


Deborah J. Stanley