OP-ED: Good Luck, Valiant VoterWashCo Dems op-ed article

by Anonymous, verified PCP

The candidate-slamming virus has infected the Washington County Democrats, and a particularly nasty variant that has been recently detected in the Washington County Commissioner Chair race between Democrat incumbent Chair Kathryn Harrington and Hillsboro City Councilor Beach Pace who is a Democrat challenger in the County Commission Chair race.

Being a challenger in any political gambit brings up uncomfortable questions regarding all the candidates. Before a few questions are raised, a brief tutelage is necessary for the busy reader.

In short, the Washington County Board of Commissioners represents our interests at the state and federal level, manages the county budget/finances, and works on long-range planning.

Back to the candidate-slamming virus infection…typically a Democrat incumbent is universally supported by the Democrat community at large. In the Washington County Commissioner Chair race, Kathryn Harrington is the incumbent, who has been investigated for hostile work environment issues. Beach Pace is challenging Kathryn for the County Chair position reportedly due to this work issue, but this also raises some uncomfortable questions about Beach. Jerry Willey, a Republican on the Washington County Board of Commissioners for District 4, has reportedly donated $5000 to Beach Pace’s campaign. Why didn’t Beach try to unseat Republican Willey from his District 4 Commissioner’s seat as he is running unopposed? Why did Beach accept Republican money, which can possibly represent a conflict of interest and are there other Republican donors supporting Beach that I do not recognize on ORESTAR?

Chair Harrington has some s’plaining to do, too. Why did she allow her work environment to erode under her leadership? Why has Washington County paid a substantial amount of money to a past employee? Has Kathryn’s leadership style changed to afford collaboration and a wholesome work environment?

A person acts on something to get things done; it is calculated. When a person reacts to something, it a response and usually not calculated.  (Sourced from the internet)

Now it’s Minion Opinion time…

In the Investigative Report on County Commission Chair Harrington, it appears that Kathryn reacted or overreacted to situations/employees in a manner that was inappropriate and needed/needs improvement. There is some indication in the report that she may have possibly improved her behavior in recent months.  The report does not appear to indicate that Kathryn’s treatment of her employees was calculated; although, Washington County did pay a $80,000 settlement to Harrington’s chief of staff to avoid a lawsuit, and $25,000 to hire a third-party investigator.

I believe candidates who challenge the status quo because they are passionate about the rights of others are to be applauded, but I wonder if it is wise to throw out the baby with the bath water? Might it have been wiser to fight for the Jerry Willey seat, add another smart and thoughtful Democrat to the Board of Commissioners, and work to promote collaboration while seated at the table? This might not bring in Republican support, but it could have possibly united Democrats instead of dividing them.

I commend both Beach and Kathryn for their public service; they both have devoted supporters who are working hard on their behalf. These volunteers deserve appreciation, as well.

The voters will have a tough decision to make by May 17th . Good luck Valiant Voter.

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