Omodt Owns the Conflict
by Shari Dovale
Yes, we are still following the Bonner County Clown show, also known as the Bonner County Commissioner meetings. The biggest change is that Luke Omodt is now the official Chairman as Steve Bradshaw has stepped aside.
Not that Steve is doing much else. All indications seem to be that Steve has not changed in that he only does the minimum amount that he has to do.
Bradshaw has never been too interested in following up with the people and letting them know what is happening under his watch. It is likely this could be that nothing does happen under his watch. He gets an extraordinary amount of money to show up when he feels like it, and do as little as possible. No one is there to hold him accountable. This is an easy way for someone to take advantage.
His new mantra is that townhalls and the like are only “for people running for reelection.” At least we have that for which to look forward.
Omodt, on the other hand, is spending an inordinate amount of time watching Asia Williams. He has demanded he receive copies of all her emails, as well as suggesting that she should not receive any benefit under the doctrine of attorney-client privilege. All of this, he presumes, falls under the guise of ‘supervising’ her. The only problem with that is he is not her supervisor.
Keeping in mind that the county legal department has advised him that he should not proceed with this course of action until they have a chance to study it more thoroughly, Omodt has again shown disdain for the prosecutors office. He ignores their advice when it does not agree with him, and only wants them to weigh in if it should prove to his benefit.
The County prosecutor’s office is another department for which he has repeatedly shown public contempt, including at the latest business meeting when he attempted to chastise them for going 5 weeks without attending his meetings.
Claiming that Idaho Statute 31-802 gives him the right to supervise every move that Commissioner Asia Williams makes is either a deliberate misinterpretation of the actual law, or a delusion that highlights his inept abilities to perform the job for which he was hired.
The law states:
POWERS AND DUTIES OF BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
31-802. Supervision of county officers. To supervise the official conduct of all county officers, and appointed boards or commissions of the county charged with assessing, collecting, safekeeping, management or disbursement of the public moneys and revenues; see that they faithfully perform their duties; direct prosecution for delinquencies; approve the official bonds of county officers, and when necessary, require them to make reports, and to present their books and accounts for inspection.
Note that this law concerns the entire Board of Commissioners, not just a single person. This does not give a specific commissioner power over another. They are all equal in their authority.
Additionally, if Omodt is bent on ‘supervising’ Williams, he cannot selectively do so. He cannot segregate her. This would be discrimination, and he would need to prove that it is not discrimination based on sex or race.
To avoid this scenario, he would have to supervise all of the other electeds, as well as all of the board chairs and department heads. This would necessitate his treating everyone else the same as he treats her, including getting copies of all emails from each of the electeds in the county.
And this begs the question as to who will supervise him?
Could there be even more to these actions by Omodt?
Since Luke has spent so much time dogging Williams and neglecting the county, this could be that he really does not know how to do his job. Williams is a popular commissioner that interacts with the public and strives for transparency.
Could it be that Luke is actually trying to learn from her? Is this why he spends more time following her actions than actually doing his job? He reads her emails then responds to them, as is evidenced by the latest business meeting. He shows signs that he is intimidated by her, and feels inferior. If true, this could be a very long stretch until he is voted out of position.
Omodt, with the help of his mother and his mentor, has managed to put together a coalition to defend him throughout social media and during the weekly meetings. This seems to be to reinforce his style of micromanagement.
Micromanagement is a counter-productive management style characterized by such behaviors as an excessive focus on observing and controlling subordinates and obsession with details.
Micromanagement is generally considered to have a negative connotation, suggesting a lack of freedom and trust in the workplace, and excessive focus on details at the expense of the “big picture” and larger goals.
It still seems as though Luke and Steve spend nearly all of their time looking for ways to be contentious and divisive. Interjecting unnecessary negativity, attempts to control every word of every comment, and more, show that they brings on all of the adversity themselves.
Omodt’s mentor has done him an injustice in this. He should remember that by taking this weak advice, he may believe that the resulting blame could be laid at someone else’s feet, but the truth is that all of it will rest on him. He will be the one to own the consequences.
Related: Omodt Needs to Cease and Desist