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Letter to the Editor

September 03, 2010

Commissioner didn't ignore citizen's inquiry



To the editor:

What a headline in the letters to the editor section of the Saturday, Aug. 28, Opinion page, "County commissioners ignore citizen's inquiry," from Ned Renner. If only there were some simple way for The Herald-Mail to check the facts before publishing editorials. Of course, I could have called them, but this time, I decided to skip that useless step and go right to their recorded suggestion of writing a response.

Apparently, Mr. Renner does recall finding out it was the Washington County Housing Authority and not county government that was rehabbing the home, but not that it was a commissioner who informed him.

The following are the e-mail responses verbatim.

o Mr. Renner e-mailed July 30 at 11:05 a.m.: "Sirs, can anyone tell me why local government vehicles and employees are involved in the renovation of private property on Meadowwood Dr, Woodmoor Development? To my knowledge, Washington County Government is not involved in buying and selling of property."

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o Commissioner Kristin Aleshire replied by e-mail July 30 at 1:20 p.m.: "Mr. Renner, I am not aware of the specifics of this issue but have cc'ed Joe Kroboth, our County Director of Public Works to respond. If it is a property the County does not own, then he will most likely need the specific address. However, there are several houses in various areas of the County that the County does own through purchase for right of ways reasons and/or maintenance of areas within yards where utilities exist."

o From this e-mail, county Administrator Greg Murray responded by e-mail on Aug. 5 to Mr. Renner: "These are Housing Authority vehicles, and while they sport a County logo (not tags) are not a division of County Government. They are, indeed, rehabbing properties under one of their programs."

o To which I again followed up with Mr. Renner by e-mail as follows on Aug. 9: "Greg, thank you for the follow up, and I hope Mr. Renner that answers your question. If I recall correctly, I believe that some time in the past the County has had some discussion with the Washington County Housing Authority about using the Washington County government logo even though it is a private non-profit entity and it was determined that they could continue to use the logo."

To answer your specific question, Mr. Renner, I work for the taxpayer as a public servant and my count puts that at three e-mails that you claim to have not received for an explanation you were somehow able to provide in the editorial.

I guess reporting of accurate information at The Herald-Mail is trumped by campaign rhetoric during election time. Otherwise, I expect we would all simply continue to do our jobs fairly as if it were just another day at the office.

Kristin Aleshire
Washington County commissioner

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