To the editor:

The apparent demonstration of partisan politics and lack of transparency put on display by the county Board of Supervisors this past week is very troubling. Severing the Emergency Management Office (EMO) from the Sheriff’s Department and making it into an independent agency may very well streamline the process as Chairman Matt Murell contends, but the timing and haste in which this was pushed indicates it’s due more to partisan politics rather than practicality.

It’s not uncommon for unnecessary partisan conflicts of Democrats and Republicans to obstruct what may be in the best interests of the citizens, but it’s especially disappointing to see it at such a local level of government. Emergency management agencies across the country are often found to reside under the oversight of their county sheriff’s offices to make emergency responses more efficient. Most modern emergencies are often better dealt with by local law enforcement than by county bureaucrats. It doesn’t seem more efficient to widen rather than consolidate the number of government agencies.

Maybe it will be more streamlined, but the Board of Supervisors should have acted with practical diligence before making a decision - taking the time for a nonpartisan review first to assess the data while allowing newly elected Sheriff Don Krapf the chance to do the same.

Matthew Bathrick

Secretary, Columbia County Libertarian Party

Philmont

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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