Penny Glasgow, at podium, addressing Commissioners
|Monday's commission meeting had at least a little drama, all be it
Commission was set to vote on a resolution to give all County Clerk, Lisa Niles, employees the raises they had missed while Ms. Niles continues her legal action against the tax payers. Niles has refused, three budget cycles in a row now, to sign her salary agreement with the county preventing her employees them from receiving their annual 2% raises while Niles herself has received her raises.
Commission chairman, Steve Harrelson, had proposed paying the back raises regardless of Ms. Niles actions citing the unfairness to the employees. Harrelson had broad support from commission for his proposal.
Surprisingly, at the beginning of the meeting during the public speaking time, Niles chief deputy, Penny Glasgow, speaking for 100% of Ms. Niles employees according to her, addressed the commission with several of Niles employees standing along with her holding signs that said "We Back Lisa" and Ms. Niles sitting in the audience behind her employees.
Best I could tell from her four minute rant, Ms. Glasgow was unhappy that the commission had not given Ms. Niles the extra people and higher pay she is demanding in her law suit against the tax payers. She praised Ms. Niles and berated commissioners making several outlandish, unsubstantiated accusations toward commissioners.
To be honest, I thought Ms. Glasgow was going to ask that the employees not get their back raises. She didn't quite go that far but that could be because she will be getting the largest back pay of all general sessions employees. Her $2,431.00 back pay will move her salary above forty thousand dollars.
Ms. Glasgow suggested the law suit brought against the tax payers
could have been settled a long time ago is commission had just
compromised. Obviously, Ms. Glasgow doesn't realize the commission
tried to compromise with Ms. Niles, and she walked out of the meeting.
Obviously, Ms. Glasgow also doesn't realize this entire debacle could
have been avoided all together if Ms. Niles hadn't wanted to punish the
very residents she claims to represent.
Ms. Niles has used the law for legal extortion almost from the time she took office. She did it right after she was re-elected in 2006, she did it again right after she was re-elected in 2010 and she did it again right after she was re-elected in 2014. Unfortunately for her, this commission didn't cave to her threats.
I do want to commend my fellow commissioners and the mayor for maintaining their professionalism and respect during Ms. Glasgow's demeaning ramblings. We have worked very hard to assure our official, business meetings remain just that, professional and business like. Not a single commissioner spoke back to Ms. Glasgow but allowed her all the time she wanted to berate the commission. But I'll be honest, sometimes it's hard to sit and listen to someone spout off about something they so obviously know nothing about.
Of all the things Ms. Glasgow said at the meeting, she saved the best or should I say the strangest thing for the end. She said "I want to give one word of advice to Ms. Brewster and Mr. Shaver, be very careful of those stones you throw in your own glass house." Ms. Brewster was absent from the meeting due to open house at her school but Ms. Glasgow asked her husband who was at the meeting to convey the message to her.
Have no idea what that means but sounded a bit like some kind of veiled threat.
While commission tries to keep our business meetings as formal as we can, I would invite Ms. Glasgow to attend our next workshop on August 15th, 6:00 at the county office building. The workshops are far less formal and allow for discussion and debate. I for one would really, really like to hear more about these glass houses we live in from Ms. Glasgow.