To the editor:
I am responding to assertions made by John Seibel in last week’s paper concerning the hiring of Larry Cushenbery to a supervisory position in the county road and bridge department.
Seibel questioned whether Cushenbery was selected for his qualifications or rather as a pay-off for political reasons.
There were four candidates that applied for the position. One did not meet the qualifications for supervisory experience, and one withdrew his application during the interview process. A third was offered the job but turned it down due to pay and benefits not meeting his wishes. Cushenbery was then offered the job and accepted.
Seibel needs to explain how he thinks commissioner Lalouette-Crawford could possibly award a job to an individual for political favors. There are three commissioners and approval would take at least two votes. Thus, reason dictates that either Dallke, or Holub, or both also would be involved if this were a political pay-off.
A simple phone call to any number of people involved would have given him his answer without publicly promulgating a “conspiracy theory”.
In Eric Meyer’s editorial concerning the county applying for a grant to replace road signs, he questioned with everything else going on why would the county worry about changing out (as compared to replacing) road signs. The way I read the article he concluded the county was only doing it because there was “free money” (state grant) available. That an engineer was hired to supervise the process also was questioned.
There is an existing state/federal requirement to upgrade all road signs to a type with increased reflectivity, thus easier to see and improving safety. Randy Crawford found a grant that was available and would offset the costs to the taxpayers by several hundred thousand dollars.
I consider this grant Marion County tax dollars coming back home from Topeka and Washington to be used to preclude additional taxing to comply with state and federal unfunded mandates.
As for the engineer, state and federal grants “require” an outside engineer to ensure grant funds are used appropriately.
Marion County Commissioner