BOCC urged to set new tone for 2014

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 09:51 AM.

He said it was time to stop the contentiousness that has marked the recent months to “get some things accomplished.”

For Port St. Joe resident Elaine Lerch, who said she was spokesperson for many in the audience who in turn reflected a “wide cross section” of county residents, McDaniel’s words were welcome.

Lerch said she was there to speak about impressions and perceptions in the community and said the BOCC was viewed by many county citizens as “an embarrassment.”

She continued that “unprofessional” activities were evident to anyone attending, viewing or reading about the meetings. Comments and actions during meetings on Nov. 11 and Dec. 19 were particularly egregious, she noted.

Obvious bias had been demonstrated since the election of Commissioner Joanna Bryan in 2012, with county employees allowed to “speak disrespectfully to her without being reprimanded or stopped” and demeaning comments allowed to be directed at Bryan.

“Many citizens feel that the residents of Ms. Bryan’s district are being disenfranchised” as her efforts were thwarted, including changing county policy to “prevent her from doing her job,” Lerch added.

Lerch said part of the concern was a perception that the treatment of Bryan was due to her being female.

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