|Citizens of Montrose County:
As the new county manager, my main objective is to increase efficiency while maintaining a standard of excellence that our constituents have come to expect from Montrose County. Several of these changes and improvements were outlined by our citizens in the creation of the Montrose County Strategic Business Plan.
Some constituents have expressed concerns regarding the Herman Road project, and as part of my new beginning in Montrose, I am committed to transparency in county operations. As the Daily Press reported, there was a recent audit of the Montrose County Public Works Division and Road & Bridge department. The recent extension of Herman Road has been referred to by some as the “road to nowhere,” as it is a dead-end road. The Montrose County Public Works Department over-reached in attempting to acquire right-of-way for a section of Herman Road. In exchange for the private property, Public Works agreed to perform dirt work and install fencing for the private property owners. The bottom line is that a large amount of funding was expended on improvements at this site. Montrose County apologizes for the mismanagement of public resources and has taken decisive action to correct these problems. George and Sandy Jackson (the private property owners) are not at fault regarding this issue and have done nothing wrong. My final report can be viewed online here.
As a result of one of our Commissioners receiving numerous concerns from employees within the Montrose County Road & Bridge department, I was asked to interview employees from Public Works and Road & Bridge. In order to remain unbiased, I asked County Technical Services, Inc. (CTSI), Montrose County’s insurance carrier, to conduct the interviews. CTSI held interviews from April 9 to May 8. Overall, 50 employees of Montrose County Public Works were interviewed. The official report is available here.
The report states that the majority of those interviewed feel that the road and bridge department of public works is being run poorly and that employees are unhappy with their working conditions. Employees also indicated favoritism exists from the road and bridge management and identified terrible employee morale within the department. It is also disheartening to hear that employees are embarrassed to say they work for Montrose County Road & Bridge Department. As a government entity accountable to the public, the issues contained within the report could not be ignored.
If you have any concerns regarding either the Herman Road investigation or public works/road and bridge audit, I encourage you to speak at a call to the public that is hosted at the beginning of every Montrose County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meetings. The next BOCC meeting is May 15 at 6:00 p.m. in Olathe. Please visit http://www.montrosecounty.net/index.aspx?nid=390 for a complete BOCC meeting schedule. A call to the public is a time when the citizenry may bring forth items of interest or concern. While no formal action will be taken on these items during the meeting (due to the open meetings law provisions), items of interest or concern may be placed on future posted agendas.
This is a serious issue for Montrose County, and the County Commissioners and I want to personally assure you that mismanagement of your county government will not be tolerated. There will be rumors, accusations and finger pointing, and we are here to dispel them with the facts. Please use our website (www.montrosecounty.net) to review all official information. I would like to thank our citizens for their patience throughout the investigation, and ask for their consideration as we continue to build a county that serves citizens in an efficient and economical manner.
Montrose County Manager