Archived Story

Why won’t they tell us who they are?

Published 10:23pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To the editor:

Why must our new commissioners hide even the kinds of biographical information that other commissioners have made available for many years?

The county commission’s webpage is at
The page has spaces for each commissioner to say how long he’s lived in Polk County, when he was elected, what his profession and education are, what committees he’s on and other useful information of interest to the voters and other citizens.

But this year, unlike in the past, there are a lot of empty spaces on that page.

Michael Gage has declined to say how long he’s lived in Polk County. Is it only since 2002, when he registered to vote here? Has he been trying to make people think he’s a Polk County native?

One of Mr. Gage’s most vocal supporters has said that unless someone is a native of Polk County, he has no right to run for election or even to serve on any volunteer committees. Was she unaware that Mr. Gage is not a Polk County native?

Mr. Gage has also declined to state his profession and education? Why?
But Mr. Gage is not the only one. Neither Ted Owens nor Keith Holbert has stated his profession or education? Why the mystery?

And Tom Pack has stated his profession, but has given no information about his education.
Aren’t these important facts that citizens have a right to know?  Whoever originally set up the Polk County Commissioners’ website must have thought so.  Commissioners through the years have cooperated … until now.

In contrast, Commissioner Ray Gasperson has provided all the information requested.
Please, commissioners, give the citizens the information they deserve.  Don’t be so shy.

– Mary Parker, Tryon

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