The Bonner County Clown Show
by Shari Dovale
Chairman Steven Bradshaw and his apple-polishing Vice-Chair Benjamin “Luke” Omodt in tandem are running the county into the ground with their shenanigans.
Every week will find these buffoons getting in the way of county business with their antics. Their private agenda is noticed and questioned by many as to what they hope to accomplish.
The standard order of business begins by ignoring Commissioner Asia Williams when she makes motions to benefit the people in the county. The closest you are likely to see of them even acknowledging her is that Omodt will “amend” her motion, usually to “Send it to Legal.” This generates Bradshaw “stepping down from the chair” to second the amended motion and it passing from their 2 votes, as a majority.
If Omodt makes a motion, which is usually generated by their surreptitious agendas, then again, Bradshaw steps “down from the chair” to second and pass the motion. This is all in defiance of anything that Williams would like to discuss on the issues.
The commissionmen have shown absolutely no interest in working with Commissioner Williams and obviously intend to thwart her every move within the board.
It should be noted that the ongoing and continuing use of the Chair seconding motions is not illegal, but it is very poor business practices. It is intended as a rarely used mechanism for unusual issues. Not as a tool to deny the people a third voice.
Next will find Chairman Bradshaw arbitrarily placing rules on the public for comment. He always opens his meetings with directives that sound like threats to the public, such as,
“It is MY decision as Chairman”
“Don’t force my hand!”
“We are NOT required, by law, to allow comment in our meetings.”
“We are not going to have the meeting hijacked.”
Bradshaw seems to think that becoming Chairman made him some sort of overlord, to rule the county with an iron fist. He has said that it is by his sole discretion who will be allowed to speak at his meetings.
Case in point would be the March 7th meeting, in which another elected official, Dan Rose, was listed as the 4th speaker. Chairman Bradshaw arbitrarily stated that only 4 people would be allowed to speak, yet would not allow Rose to speak. Bradshaw has shown his personal animosity towards Rose in the past.
As you will see in the video below, Rose was not going to be shut down again, though Bradshaw tried to have him removed for speaking without Bradshaw’s express permission.
Sheriff Daryl Wheeler was in attendance and Bradshaw called on him to removed Mr. Rose, yet Wheeler refused.
“I took an oath to uphold the constitution.” Sheriff Wheeler told Redoubt News. “I will not be anyone’s shill to suppress another persons 1st amendment right to speak.”
Rose continued reading his prepared remarks when Bradshaw turned to his clerk and demanded that she call the Sandpoint police department. “Make the call!” he told Jessi Webster. She made no move to follow those instructions, and Rose continued to speak.
Commissioner Omodt talked to Bradshaw about going into recess, and finally Bradshaw stated that they were in recess until Rose was removed.
When Mr. Rose finished and returned to his seat, Bradshaw continued with the meeting as if there was no interruption. Clerk Mike Rosedale later addressed the board and asked about the continuing recess, after which Bradshaw made a quick, yet lame sounding, statement that they were back in their meeting.
All of this childish behavior shows a decided lack of concern for the citizens they took an oath to represent. The commissioners complain to the people that they have limited time to get the business of the county complete, yet these men are the ones that filibuster all items until their agendas are met.
People know the difference between right and wrong, and this self-serving nonsense proves the 2 men do not care about the proper role of government.
It did not take long for the people of the county to start quiet discussions of “recall” after these 2 men began their clown show. It will be interesting to see how far those discussions go.
Meanwhile, you will hear an endless diatribe of delaying tactics, including “Send it to Legal” and “It is MY meeting” from these 2 men. Just be sure that you pay attention to the faithlessness during this time as they appear to have a specific agenda they intend to get through.
Related Article: BOCC Prompts Complaint to Attorney General