OPINION: Communication is key to trust

On May 2, Delta County Commissioners appointed two new members to the Delta County Planning Commission. These are important appointments especially during the Master Plan update project, which officially kicked off this past week.

According to County Commissioners, the reason for growing the Planning Commission from seven to nine members was to provide equal representation across all three districts.

While this sounds great, their appointments violated the Planning Commission’s bylaws which establish representation roles. The process was unnervingly rushed. Small recruiting ads for the open positions appeared in two issues of the DCI but never made it to the county website or the county’s Facebook page; and appointments were made almost immediately afterward. (Juxtapose this process to the one used to recruit new Area Planning Committee members which employed all three channels and, yet, appointments still haven’t been made.)

I wonder what’s wrong with communication between the county and its Planning Commission that the bylaw change wasn’t addressed well before the appointments were made. Moreover, I worry that there’s more behind these hurried appointments.

JoAnn Kalenak, Hotchkiss, CO

UPDATE: The Planning Commission just announced that they will meet on May 24, 2017 to discuss a proposed amendment to Section 5.2 of their bylaws. I think it’s safe to assume that this section pertains to representation roles for commission members.