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Letter: Commissioners letting Ruppert have his way

I'm going to do something I said I'd never do, but I think it's time that I say something about this topic publicly. I was Nobles County Emergency Management Director for four-and-a-half years until January 2011, when I decided to end my employment with the county due to the position being cut to 24 hours a week.

I went through many of the same experiences Emily Cenzano has said she's went through, enough to know that her version of the events is quite credible. I worked with Brad Meyer long enough to know he has a couple of stories of his own experiences that frankly beat us all. Simply put, we've all been there.

My approach in working for Nobles County Government was very simple. I wanted to simply make the best of a pretty bad situation, and move on to something better when the time came. In the process I met dozens of wonderful, thoughtful public servants and emergency responders who are simply trying to make their piece of Nobles County a much nicer place to live and work. These are the folks I felt I really worked for. I still miss them to this day.

This post isn't about sour grapes, because frankly I've moved on. I don't have an axe to grind, because I'll never pay taxes or vote in Nobles County again.

This isn't about me, or how exceedingly poor Mel's management skills are -- I've had bad bosses before and truthfully it comes with the turf. I've really tried hard to keep this from being personal.

This is about something much bigger than all of this. There's something else going on here that I've seen for the better part of six years now that either seems to get downplayed or not addressed at all. It's not about a bad boss, but about bad government.

For decades now the Nobles County Board of Commissioners has enabled Mel Ruppert to be the way he is, plain and simple.

I would go so far as to say that the decisions made and the actions taken most likely go against the will of the people. Despite this being a body voted into office by the people, they most likely have ignored the people's best interest, and to me that's when it stops being a democracy. Add to that Mel's inappropriate and undue influence over them, and it stopped being a democracy a long time ago. This is what really disturbs me about this situation.

This situation stops when a majority of county board members decide to make it stop, plain and simple. How that majority is achieved is the next step, and in the hands of the people. Please, start paying attention. Ask questions. Hold your elected officials accountable. Put people on the ballot who are dedicated to changing this and vote for them. You quite literally are the 99 percent.

Nobles County has lost the opportunity to be a part of a regionalized dispatch, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nobles County has tainted a relationship with a neighboring county in its process to dissolve its mutual public health agency, and gaining what in return? Nobles County fired its Emergency Management Director, and the Deputy Director wasn't due back to work until March 12. Who's minding the store?

There, I've said it. My First Amendment Right has been satisfactorily exercised. Thanks for reading.

Dan Anderson