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  • Last modified 101 days ago (Jan. 18, 2017)

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Lalouette lingers in limbo

Staff writer

County commissioner Lori Lalouette, threatened with a possible recall petition, expects to make a decision to resign or face possible recall by next week.

Lalouette has been embroiled in controversy since a committee formed to seek a recall election over the number of times she has been absent, arrived late, or left commission meetings early. She said Tuesday she is still contemplating and discussing the matter with people she trusts.

At last week’s commission meeting, a letter written by Hillsboro residents James Hefley, Kevin Suderman, and Galen Penner, notifying county clerk Tina Spencer of their intention to seek a recall election to remove Lalouette from office “due to failure to perform the duties prescribed by law,” was presented. Hefley spoke to Lalouette then asking her to resign instead of face a recall election.

Hefley was again present Tuesday.

Lalouette said the reason she ran for the office was to help the county.

“I am asking my constituents to accept my heartfelt apologies,” Lalouette said. “Where I’m at today, I’m just asking for additional time to have conversations.”

Lalouette said she wants to bring the matter to a quick resolution, but also wants “to do due diligence to the community.”

In a letter distributed with commissioners, Lalouette wrote, “I have had numerous competing priorities in my roles as county commissioner, attorney, small business owner, and community advocate. Those competing priorities, coupled with illness, have led to my failure to meet the expectations of the individuals I swore to represent and serve. Please accept my heartfelt apology for this failure. I am truly sorry.”

Hefley said Tuesday he believes Lalouette will do the right thing.

“We’ll give you the time,” Hefley said.

As the county explores the possibility of creating an emergency medical services hub, the town of Canada is under consideration, as long as it has the infrastructure to provide what the central station would need.

Commissioners and director Ed Debesis discussed the type of building that would be needed as an operations base. Debesis said he plans to meet with a representative of Morton buildings to see if they can offer a suitable building and provide an estimate on cost. No formal decisions have been made regarding what units and services would be based at such a hub if it is created.

A new emergency radio system commissioners earlier approved with the understanding it would be implemented in stages so county emergency departments would have time to buy needed equipment was discussed with sheriff Rob Craft. A general information meeting will be held in the future.

Last modified Jan. 18, 2017

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