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‘Time to fire the holdover leadership’

Recently, The Durango Herald reported on the transition from the San Juan Basin Public Health Department to the “new” La Plata County Health Department.

The interim director said: “Almost all of the program staff (are) people who are currently providing services. Our programs are not changing or diminishing in any way.” That means all we did was spend a massive amount of taxpayer money to change the name above the door. The same people will likely continue the same programs. And, presumably, we can expect the same lack of leadership going forward, too.

It’s clear our county commissioners do not listen to the residents. The whole reason for creating a new health department was mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic by SJBPH. Residents in Archuleta and La Plata counties wanted a change. When the former director fled to another job with her massive unapproved bonus, Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton said it should be looked into, but was it?

I don’t recall reading anything on these unapproved bonuses paid to “leadership” during the pandemic from taxpayer dollars. And if there was, did the funds get returned and did the enriched SJBPH staff members get fired? Apparently, they just get to remain with the department for the next bonus opportunity (aka pandemic).

The people we elect create policies that affect all of our lives. Simply put, incompetent people, make bad policies. Time to fire the holdover leadership and employees who used a pandemic to enrich themselves, rather than better the health in our community.

Diana Snodgrass