To the Editor:
I have followed, for several months now, this ongoing battle between Chairman Chris Lauzen and Coroner Rob Russell. I’m concerned that I don’t see a lot of push back from any of the board members regarding this. In my opinion, the chairman and the coroner were elected by the same group of people. Russell has done more to bring the coroner’s office into the 21st century than either of his predecessors (Chuck West or Mary Lou Kearns) in the mere two years that he has served.
The fact that Lauzen has made headlines of an approximately $1,200 investment in trinkets made by the coroner’s office for National Night Out with total disregard for how much the sheriff or state’s attorney might have spent for the same event is ludicrous, and that not one board member dared to confront the chairman on this is really disappointing.
On the other hand, the chairman wants to spend up to $20,000 and countless hours of staff time in what essentially is an exercise in second guessing that will provide no useful information or practical results.
The chairman’s apparent unhealthy obsession with the coroner’s budget, to the exclusion of other elected officials, whose budgets make up the overwhelming percentage of public safety expenditures, suggests a lack of proportionality on his part.
The time and effort (and staff time) devoted to the chairman’s feud with the coroner should be making everybody uncomfortable and is a distraction from the important issues facing the county and needs to end.