OPINION: DeltaGate reveals a bigger picture

JOANN KALENAK, DCCR BLOGGER — My earlier letter to the editor in the Delta County Independent revealing moonlighting and timesheet/billing anomalies on the part of Delta County employee Elyse Ackerman Casselberry has many people talking. That’s good; it means I’ve hit a nerve.
Some residents are calling for Casselberry’s firing or other disciplinary action. But folks, I submit that there’s a much bigger picture to consider. While Casselberry may have simply screwed up her timesheet in a sloppy attempt to manage her enormous schedule — a full-time job with Delta County and a half-time job with Collbran — the county leadership who allowed this situation to occur is our biggest concern; specifically, Administrator Robbie LeValley, the County Commissioners and Bill Bever, Delta County’s Human Resource Director.
Casselberry is an ambitious person taking advantage of a broken system. She says that she negotiated the ability to work on the side when LeValley originally hired her back in May 2017. Since then, she’s done evening training seminars under her company, DMA Consulting, LLC, for other government entities and is an adjunct professor at Adams State University.
Good for her.
Her latest contract, however, is an impossible juggling act that has conflict written all over it and is certainly not in the best interest of Delta County. There is not a manager worth their salt who wouldn’t have serious reservations about paying someone nearly $95,000 per year and not receive that employee’s highest priority and undivided attention while on the job.
County leadership has not only afforded this over-the-top concession to Casselberry, it’s also maintained a contract planner, at $100,000 per year, and, most recently, hired a public information officer, at $48,000 per year, to help out the busy planning director.
So, why has LeValley and our County Commissioners granted Casselberry an elite status — above the rules — and degraded the contributions of many co-workers focused on serving the people of Delta County?
Looks like incompetent, bumbling leadership to me — and some good ole boy cronyism thrown in for good-measure.
Or should I say, good ole gal?
And Lord only knows what The Town of Collbran is thinking.