As a past board member in a leadership position for the Blue Mountain Humane Society and a Walla Walla County taxpayer interested in and concerned about the financial management of our county, I feel obligated to provide the voting public with some facts.
In about 2001, I was asked to assume the position of president on the board of directors for the BMHS. At that time, the organization was in financial distress and unable to complete a project to build a new shelter.
It had spent close to a million “donated” dollars and it had become convincingly clear that the shelter was not going to be completed within budget. The contract was not opened for bid but awarded to a contractor who convinced the then executive director, Randal Son, that he could save the BMHS money if he was awarded the contract. This contractor was awarded the contract and subsequently went out of business without completing the project.
Upon me accepting this position, the board of directors reorganized, created Friends of the Blue Mountain Humane Society and was able to raise additional funding through local businesses and private citizens to complete the new shelter. Since that time, the BMHS has thrived under excellent leadership.
I believe Randal to be a good person who means well and certainly had a passion for the mission of the shelter; however, based on my experience, I don’t believe he has the skills, knowledge and acuity required to manage a budget for the county of over $75 million.
Walla Walla County has had a long tradition of fine commissioners with good experience in agriculture, business and finance and I believe we should carry on that tradition.