Kudos to the Kounty

The conventional wisdom in this town would suggest that, because we employ a "professional" manager, our little incorporated City will be better managed than the County, which is run by 'mere' elected Commissioners. In the past there has been some truth to this, what with the fiasco in Justice Court, Commissioner Stelling's phone and credit card issues, and the lengthy feud between Commissioner Beltrone and former Commissioner Morris.

There is strong evidence, though, that the tide is turning. It appears to me now that the County, not the City, is better run. Generally speaking those with issues before County government encounter an open, fairly run process, not an entrenched cabal directed by a dictatorial hierarchy who, apparently, believe they 'run this town.'

If you want more evidence, look at this comment by Commissioner Joe Briggs to a post of mine. I am not impressed so much by the fact that he took the time out of his busy schedule to respond to our thoughts, as I am by the well-reasoned approach the County brought to bear on the issue of compensating our employees for their time. It is clear that our County Commission approached the matter in a logical, systematic fashion and made a defensible decision. Does it mean it was the right decision? Not necessarily. Does it mean there is no valid criticism? Of course not.

But it does mean that the issue was considered rationally, and that there is empirical support for the decision made. Unlike cutting jobs to save money when we don't even "know how much it will cost to hire out the facility maintenance work, so it's too soon to say how much money the change will save." Or losing half a million dollars on the Explore: The Big Sky event, but never publishing the data upon which the projections were made. Or pointing to all kinds of factors as leading to our golf course woes, only to have the expert tell us that those factors aren't the problem at all!

Hopefully, Mayor Stebbins can return some sanity to the process.

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