Bradshaw Blocking Public Input in Bonner County
by Shari Dovale
This week’s business meeting for the Bonner County Commissioners brought back the topic of the Zoom availability for the public.
In anticipation of the large number of people expected to join this meeting, Commissioner Williams had requested that the meeting be set up downstairs in the larger public meeting room. This request was initially ignored.
When the public was in standing room only mode with 20 minutes left prior to the start of the meeting, the IT tech was instructed to move the equipment downstairs to the larger room.
The larger room also had standing room only, with people overflowed into the main lobby.
The Chairman started out the meeting on a sour note, telling the public that he is being magnanimous in allowing public comment, and he can revoke it at his own discretion.
During the course of the ‘discussion’ the two commissionmen made every effort to throw their weight around, including Commissioner Luke Omodt letting the world know that he had no trust in Commissioner Williams or the documents she presented.
Stating on the record that he preferred to talk to their attorney personally, instead of relying on the emails and documents provided by his colleague, makes the case that he wants everyone to know that he does not trust this woman. This has been the tone that the 2 men have set since the first day they were sworn into office.
Commissioner Williams had very good arguments in place, including the history of the issue. There have been absolutely zero lawsuits in Bonner County over zoom failures, and zero meetings have had to be redone in the county due to any issues with zoom.
This is in spite of Bradshaw going off on a rant that stretched out a fictional scenario of taking a year to complete a single business meeting.
Chairman Bradshaw has continued to place the blame for the animosity within the 3 member board on the only woman seated, Commissioner Williams. Yet, both men continue to antagonize her, as well as the public when we are forced to watch this belittling behavior.
The public has stated their disappointment in the behavior of these two men at every meeting recently, yet these men have dug their heels in and refuse to admit they are wrong.
Additionally, Chairman Bradshaw is still learning how to run a meeting, but mistakes in procedure are running rampant.
Commissioner Omodt attempted to table the discussion but used the procedure of amending a motion to do so. Bradshaw did not catch the error and called the topic closed when the amendment was not seconded.
Likewise, when someone challenges his authority, Chairman Bradshaw seems to get his knickers in a twist and goes on a rant to punish the offender. “Don’t force my hand,” was Bradshaw’s comment that, again, got the room riled up.
But, as we have seen, Bradshaw will blame that on anyone else, as he must believe that he had no choice in treating the public with disdain.