The Thurston County Commission suffers from a lack of leadership, planning skills or even an understanding of county government. Three months into the new fiscal year, commissioners had yet to finalize a 2014-15 budget, forcing departments to guess how they manage unknown funds. This tardy behavior and lack of leadership resulted in departments unable to plan long-term.
Karen Valenzuela, Cathy Wolfe and Sandra Romero built a new jail four years ago and never put a plan in place to fund it, resulting in $2 million in wasted spending just to keep the lights on in an empty building. Recently, commissioners insisted corrections staff work unsafe 12 hours shifts. When they refused, commissioners announced it was the corrections union that prevented jail opening. The Sheriff’s office has the lowest law enforcement budget per capita of any county in Washington.
Lack of decision-making by our commissioners may force Lakeside Industries to go to court, resulting in additional wasted county spending. Commissioners have done nothing to create a business friendly environment. A friendlier Thurston County might just encourage tax producing companies to relocate here.
It’s time for a major house cleaning in the offices of our Thurston County commissioners.