by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
A lot of drama is going on in Polk County government. The biggest social media event was the pastor who made a politically incorrect prayer. He used his freedom of speech and freedom of religion to not embrace and celebrate protected-class, special-interest groups.
Then, there was the recent brouhaha over Ray Gasperson feeling kicked out of a private meeting. (Now, either Ray doesn’t know that’s how us Southerners pay compliments to the well-informed and well-intending, and tell on ourselves at the same time; he is trying to make his peers look bad; or he is at least one step ahead of me on this.) Gasperson had previously alleged his peers had been conducting illegal meetings in closed session.
The icing on the cake was County Manager Ryan Whitson’s decision to step down. Whitson returned from military leave, having stated his expectation and joyful anticipation of returning to work, but while he was gone, he found the commissioners had, controversially, attempted to create an assistant county manager position. The commission’s first attempt to create that position was then postponed when the person of choice had an untimely car wreck. During the last closed session known to the public, Whitson was written off, and the corresponding budget amendment was approved during the public meeting.