To the editor:
The Jan. 3 County Board of Supervisors vote to sever the Emergency Management Offices from the existing authority of the Sheriff’s Office, and to appoint Chairman Murell to assume leadership and authority instead, leaves many unanswered questions about why and why now. Certainly, the 55% of voters who elected Don Krapf to lead public safety, in a free and fair election, wonder why 2 days into newly elected Sheriff Don Krapf’s term, Chairman Murell pushed through this vote.
Prior to the vote, many Supervisors expressed that there was neither a compelling need nor reasonable explanation for a rushed vote, and suggested 60-90 days to study it, ask questions, and get input from Sheriff Krapf. Good government would call for consideration of the facts, data and budgetary consideration, in an open meeting with public input. With the weighted voting system of the Board of Supervisors, the Republican proposal proceeded and passed, in spite of more Supervisors voting no than voting yes.
The residents of Columbia County are now wondering what impact this significant change of leadership and authority in the midst of the greatest challenge to our public health as surging COVID cases are overwhelming our healthcare services, and creating the concomitant additional stresses on our County emergency services systems, will have. There is no doubt however, that partisanship ruled the day.