Montana Politics

Ravalli County’s Continuing Assault on Good Governance

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Ravalli County is back at it again, showing how political connections and party affiliation are far more important than actual qualifications for government jobs. Despite 17 applicants for a county planner position, the GOP-dominated county commission selected the chair of the Ravalli County Republican Committee, Terry Nelson, for the position,as reporter Whitney Bermes notes in the Ravalli Republic.

It’s a pretty remarkable story, actually. The county commissioners refused to release Nelson’s resume, didn’t hire two former planners, and claimed that the job was over 50% public relations. Given that the former planning director resigned over subdivision difficulties, it would appear that the job is just a bit more complicated that shaking a few hands, as does the Ravalli County Planning Department web page:

The mission of the Ravalli County Planning Department is to administer and facilitate the processes of land use planning, subdivision review, and floodplain management in order to promote a high quality of life while protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Ravalli County.

What’s the worst that could happen? Unfortunately, Ravalli County already knows.

Perhaps this is just a new front in the GOP assault on government services: electing and selecting people so woefully under-qualified for the positions that government will simply collapse under the weight of their incompetence. It might just work.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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