Commissioners remove 2 from MCTA board

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Moffat County commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to remove Bryce Jacobson and Leona Hemmerich from the Moffat County Tourism Association’s board of directors.

Commissioner Tom Mathers made the motion to remove Jacobson — the board’s chair — and Hemmerich, saying the two board members had been insubordinate and disruptive. Tom Gray also voted for their removal, while Commissioner Audrey Danner dissented.

Jacobson is publisher of the Craig Daily Press.

Mathers said he initially considered dissolving the entire MCTA board and starting over, then decided against it after discussion with MCTA director Melody Villard.

“It’s just not right (for Jacobson and Hemmerich) to slander the commissioners of the board they work for,” Mathers said. “These things should be able to be taken care of in house, in meetings. But these two people I just mentioned have been in the middle of a lot of controversy and that’s why I’m asking to have them removed from the board.”

Several who spoke during public comment asked Mathers to recuse himself from the MCTA board discussion and vote. Mather’s daughter, Christina Oxley, is the director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. Mathers acknowledged the conflict but participated in the discussion and vote anyway, saying he doesn’t control his daughter’s wages or employment status.

MCTA board member Kandee Dilldine spoke in favor of keeping Jacobson and Hemmerich on board, saying although she was hesitant about working with Jacobson at first she had come to regard him as a strong leader.

Dilldine said Jacobson also excluded himself from conversations regarding the purchase of advertising in the Craig Daily Press or any of its publications.

Tom Mikesell, a member of the MCTA board, also spoke in support of keeping Jacobson on board. Others addressed the board and all opposed Jacobson and Hemmerich’s removal, while others also asked Mathers remove himself from voting on the issue.

“We are asking him to recuse himself or we are going to take action,” Lee Bates of the Craig Lodging Association said during the public comment period.

But Mathers said MCTA board members shouldn’t “drag commissioners through the mud” when there’s a problem.

“We shouldn’t have to pick the paper up and read about how bad we are and untruths. That’s the problem,” Mathers said. “That’s where I say it’s insubordination. You wouldn’t do that to your boss, you wouldn’t do that to anybody.”

Jacobson said he was disappointed with the commissioners’ decision, but he acknowledged their right to make that choice.

Jacobson said he disagreed with Mathers’ and Gray’s perspective regarding coverage of the MCTA board by the Craig Daily Press. He said he removes himself from the news judgments of the newspaper in its coverage of the MCTA board.

Jacobson said he was extremely proud of the MCTA board and the work and progress they had made.

“I’ve never seen them in a more functioning role,” Jacobson said.

Mathers attempted to remove Jacobson in January but didn’t get the necessary votes to do so.

Comments

greenie52 1 year, 10 months ago

You don't mess with the Craig Mafia, its just lucky for Oxley that she is Mather's daughter.

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Tammy Showalter 1 year, 10 months ago

I think everyone should read and hear all minutes before posting their opinions as fact.

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Jason Phillips 1 year, 10 months ago

Small town politics at work - just remove the opinion(s) you don't agree with. Tom Gray is a disgrace. Mathers wouldn't be fit for office in any town besides Craig.

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reasonableexpectations 1 year, 10 months ago

If my boss said do something and I said do it yourself, I'd be out of a job. Why do these people think they should be different? The daily press editor/publisher stays out of news decisions? That's funny. He makes the news, he doesn't just observe it. Read the stories where he's the only or main source. That's not biased? I'm sure a writer would be out of a job if they wrote anything but his side.

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LeonaH 1 year, 10 months ago

@ reasonableexpectations: As an employer, I have never fired anyone who didn't do what I told them to do as long as they gave me a legitimate reason for their actions. If that reasoning included a concern about the ethics involved (which was the case here), I would certainly look into the validity of that claim. The Commissioners have singled out those who have been the most vocal. Remember, though, the commissioners are not really employers in the same sense of a private business. They are EMPLOYEES of the people of Moffat County, and the Boards are comprised of Volunteer citizens who want to see ALL of Moffat County grow.

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Taxpayer 1 year, 10 months ago

Just think of the numbers that would have been at the meeting if it was at night --- could have probably used the Fairgrounds, so we could easily muck it out later from all the BS from a couple of County Commissioners -- I would hope that the new Commissioners rethink what was done, and overturn it. Also, we should all review the dishonesty, lack of integrity, and failure to perform their elected employee status in a satisfactory manner and decide what actions must be taken. As their Bosses, appears we need to give them a review of their performance. WE also need to raise our level of expectations, and stop using the phrase “it’s only Moffat County, you can’t expect too much”. What a sham!

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boy101 1 year, 10 months ago

Have you ever wondered why Bryce is in the middle of so many problem boards in this community? I am beginning to think that he creates these confrontations so maybe his reporters will have something to write about and maybe sell more newspapers. No one could be so dumb. Next his lap dog, Al Cashion, will be writing about MCTA as he was our teachers. Now I like to criticize the actions of the commissioners like the rest of you, but maybe this needed to happen.

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