Another version of a meeting's events
I read George Braaksma's letter published Feb. 14. The politics of "spin" seems to be alive and well with Braaksma and his organization, the Osceola County Taxpayers Association.
Contrary to George's letter, I did not say at the compensation board meeting that George should refrain from sending out letters, although I agree with that idea. What I actually said was that his letter to comp board members was an embarrassment to the county and to the board of supervisors, and I hoped he could do better in the future. I said the letter was filled with misleading statistics. In addition, I said that the full-time status of the county attorney was not an issue over the jurisdiction of the compensation board, a point on which everyone in the room other than George Braaksma and Barb Berkenpas (the two OCTA people) expressed agreement with me.
I did not leave after being "met by silence from the board," as George states. I stayed until the various county officials had finished presenting their positions, at which point the compensation board chairman, Dr. Kosters, indicated that this was the time that the board normally continued deliberations in private. He also said, however, that it was a public meeting and people could stay if they wished. My main reason for attending had been George's attempt to interject the issue of the county attorney's job status, which the board had no right to discuss. Since that was a moot point, I left. I think everyone else decided to stay, but I did not leave because I had been "met by silence."
I did ask the Board of Supervisors to consider appointing more reasonable people to the compensation board. The Board's two appointees are drawn from the ranks of the Osceola County Taxpayers Association, an extremist group that is not representative of the vast majority of citizens in Osceola County. I think those appointments are a mistake. I hope the supervisors will instead choose citizens who are more reasonable and more representative of the majority.