Court Boice, the chairman of the Curry County Board of Commissioners, has survived an attempt to remove him from chair.
During a Wednesday board meeting, Commissioner Chris Paasch formally requested Boice step down from the chair because he said Boice, “got out of [his] lane and [did] something [he] shouldn’t have,” on more than one occasion.
Paasch alleged Boice told local businesses they could wait to pay county permit fees. He also accused him of using his chair position to grab power, and undermine Director of Operations Brad Rueckert.
“I don’t know why, but you feel like being chair gives you additional power in this county, and it does not,” said Paasch.
Boice refused to step down and fired back with accusations of his own. He said Paasch used his commissioner’s badge to breach a road barrier at the Wedderburn rockslide, which closed down U.S. Highway 101 in March. In doing so, Paasch put members of the public at risk, Boice said. Afterward, Boice said he did tell a business owner they could wait to pay fees. He denied the allegation of a power grab.
“When it comes to being chair, no, I don’t have any more power than anyone else, but I do have a responsibility to set the meetings. I’ve taken that reasonably seriously,” said Boice.
Paasch responded to Boice’s allegations by saying he had been given permission by the Oregon Department of Transportation to view the slide. He said he parked out of the roadway and did not jeopardize public safety.
After fielding the allegations against him, Paasch made a motion to remove Boice from the chair.
Before a vote could be made, Vice Chair John Herzog stepped in and tabled the discussion for a behind closed doors meeting Friday. It appears a compromise was achieved during the executive session Friday, as Paasch did not renew his motion to remove Boice.
However, Paasch did use Friday’s public meeting to double down on his previous allegation that Boice said businesses could delay payments to the county.
“This is not only an ethical violation, but it is potentially against the law to do this,” said Paasch. “These are the kinds of things… a chair cannot do, a commissioner cannot do.”