Say what!?

Published 10:37 pm Thursday, September 17, 2015

To the editor:

Having seen Commissioner Keith Holbert’s more recent explanation for his vote against two excellent, proven animal cruelty investigators, Patti Lovelace and  Nancy Hasselbring, I felt compelled to write a bit more.

Mr. Holbert reflected Tom Pack’s astounding reason for voting against these women. Tom said, “I don’t feel obligated to vote for those that come out and publicly try to sway others not to vote for us.”  The problem? The rejected women allowed their names to be published on a list of citizens who endorsed the Democratic candidates for commissioner in the last election.

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Holbert added, on his Facebook page, “Their public petition made me wonder if they would perform their duties on the Animal Cruelty Board in an unbiased manner, treating all citizens of Polk County fairly. Having doubt in their decision making, I chose not to re-appoint them to the board.”

Say what?!

Does Mr. Holbert think that performing one’s duties “in an unbiased manner” is important, and required? Does Mr. Holbert think that “treating all citizens of Polk County fairly” is important for an appointed official? What about elected officials, Mr. Holbert?!

What about yourself, Tom Pack and Michael Gage? Can you see now why so many people have doubt in your majority’s decision making on the board of commissioners?

How in the world could Commissioner Holbert have missed the irony of his own demand for lack of bias and fair treatment of all citizens by appointed citizens, while at the same time defending and excusing his, Tom Pack’s and Michael Gage’s acting with such ugly bias and the worst kind of unfairness: refusing to re-appoint two plainly qualified and experienced, greatly needed and wanted, animal cruelty investigators for the sole reason that they spoke in favor of other candidates in an election.

By Holbert’s reasoning, neither he, nor Tom Pack, nor Michael Gage should be serving on the board of commissioners, because they HAVE repeatedly acted with bias and unfairness against segments of Polk County’s citizens, both large and small.

I was told many years ago, by a former county manager (well before Ryan Whitson) that Tom Pack instructed him that I was never to be appointed to any volunteer board, ever. That was “the final straw” that caused me to run for commissioner. (I still chuckle about that.)

This hatefulness and retribution against anyone “not on their team” is long-term standard operating procedure. Vicious lies are spread. Ugly ads filled with falsehoods are bought and published by members of “their team.”

There’s a mountain of evidence that Mr. Holbert, Mr. Pack and Mr. Gage will not, cannot, and have no intention to “perform their duties on the [Board of Commissioners] in an unbiased manner, treating all citizens of Polk County fairly.”

According to Mr. Holbert’s own standards, therefore, the three of them should resign from their BOC offices, immediately.

Renée McDermott
Tryon, N.C.