David Barnes is nothing if not relentless.
The Gold Beach resident again lambasted County Commissioner Tom Huxley last week morning, saying he needs to get his facts straight regarding a letter Huxley penned last week to the Pilot.
“I didn’t criticize the fact you are taking a $10,000 salary,” he said. “I didn’t criticize that you are a part-time (commissioner). I did criticize that you have done nothing to increase revenue to the county. I have criticized that (the board is) piddling away money like sailors on drunken leave.”
He also demanded Huxley to have the courtesy to look at him as he spoke, which Huxley refused to do. Barnes said Huxley’s behavior defied the county’s own rules of decorum, which Commissioner Sue Gold refuted, saying there is no rule requiring a commissioner to look at a speaker.
“I asked him to look up at me, and Commissioner Huxley is doing something else up there,” Barnes said, as Huxley appeared to be writing. “That is totally disrespectful. I’m tired of being disrespected by him. Your disdain is apparent.”
When asked for comment, Huxley said in an email Friday evening that, “Grown-ups don’t respond to behavior like this.”
Carol Simon, a League of Women Voters member who has been an “observer” of the board, said as her last day as such, she felt compelled to offer a critique.
She commended the board for their willingness to work through the many issues it faces, but also thinks there’s room for improvement.
“I think each of you bring strengths to this board, and it’s important to wade through the minutiae and have the skill-set to listen so decisions can be made,” she said, picking her words carefully. “I’ve seen civility — well, except today. I can’t say I’ve seen consistent civility between the three of you. Maybe more patience? More empathy? An effort to follow the rules of decorum? I can’t say my dander wouldn’t be up if I had to do your job.”
The board is often divided on issues, with many decisions agreed upon on 2-1 votes.