My big question

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2015

To the editor:

I was in attendance at the commissioner’s meeting on Monday evening when around 15 people in support of Patti Lovelace and Nancy Hasselbring were able to voice their support of these two highly dedicated and more than competent investigators. While supporters spoke, three commissioners refused to respect the speakers by listening. Instead they were looking down or facing the side wall of the meeting hall. So very mean-spirited and immature was this flaunting of their disrespect, I felt compelled to snap a picture.

The treatment of these two women, because as one commissioner said “if they are not going to vote for me why I should let them keep their jobs,” is self serving and politically motivated to a disturbing degree. Putting one’s personal political ambitions above the welfare of the citizens of Polk County and their animals is not the action of someone concerned for the welfare of that county.

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Many people in the audience were amused by Mr. Holbert’s remark that this issue of releasing Lovelace and Hasselbring of their positions had been turned into a political issue when actually these two ladies were relieved of their positions (by the vote of the Republican commissioners) for political reasons to begin with…signing an advertisement for Democratic candidates.

Laughing out loud at the remark, the audience was warned by Mr. Pack, banging his gavel, that any more outbursts would necessitate immediate removal by the sheriff and police officer in attendance. He said that the commissioners had been respectful while the supporters were speaking. But were they? Is not looking at speakers and reading something on their desk while supporters were voicing their discontent and concerns respectful? I think not. Besides, not one supporter who was advocating for the investigators made a joke like Mr. Holbert did. They weren’t joking because they were dead serious. Dead as in dead and dying animals which many in Polk County will be experiencing without the dedication of investigators Patti and Nancy.

Even support by the animal control officer who spoke on their behalf saying that his job was made so much more manageable because of the incredible dedication of these investigators had no effect.

The discussion that ensued when the vote was taken to reinstate the investigators, was turned into a display of back-peddling and obscuring the initial reason for removal by Mr. Gage and cronies. The audience of supporters immediately recognized the action for what it was and began vocalizing their discontent by yelling things like “Unethical,” “You’ve lost your moral compass,” and even, “You don’t have to escort me out, I’m leaving on my own accord.”

The supporters left en masse relieved to be out in the fresh air beyond the unfathomable actions of the politically motivated commissioners.

My big question: If on an application for employment there is a statement: When you are employed here and it is found that you are not a Republican you will lose your job. If questioned would most people say this statement is A) unethical, B) unconstitutional, C) unprofessional and biased or D) all of the above?

Karen Dow
Tryon, N.C.