Some of you have heard the President of Delaware County, Commissioner Todd Donati, hired his son for a created position in February. The job is an education coordinator for the Storm Water Management Department. The starting salary is $30,000 plus benefits. Sometime during the first week of February, 2009, the Storm Water Board (consists of the county commissioners) and the surveyor met and approved the position. At the end of the week, Jason Donati was hired.
The position was never advertised, thus, no other applicants.
At the Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 meeting, Commissioner Larry Bledsoe denounced the hiring. The Star Press quoted Mr. Bledose “”I’ve heard nothing but good things about his son,” Bledsoe said.”But I wouldn’t do that myself.” Mr. Donati did not address Bledsoe’s comment.
In an interview afterward, Donati, who hired his son with support from Dunnuck, said his son was simply the best man for the job, noting that he had internship experience in watershed projects and was passionate about the environment. Star Press February 18, 2009
Donati & Dunnuck said Bledsoe was in agreement on the new position and hiring of Jason Donati to fill it. Bledsoe said he was not in favor.
The Star Press article goes on to say the commissioners adjourned and immediately went into a closed door session to discuss Bledose’s comment.
According to several eyewitnesses, it was more than a discussion. Their voices could be heard behind the door and down the hall. A friendly conversation among three pals, that’s all.
Don Dunnuck was quoted in the March 26, 2009 Star Press Article “Tempers flared and words were exchanged,” Commissioner Don Dunnuck wrote.”At some point, the door was closed, but I do not know who did it or a time period it was shut.”
Was there a violation of the Open Door Laws in the 2nd meeting? Many said yes.
Indiana Public Access Counselor Heather Willis Neal issued an opinion Monday that the commissioners were allowed to meet afterward to carry out administrative functions, but violated the open door law by excluding members of the public. Unfortunately, her opinion is considered advisory and does not carry any penalties for violation. Star Press March 26, 2009
In my opinion, Indiana has a lot of laws and an abundance of departments with intimidating titles, and no bite. What dummy said Indiana needs accountability?
For those who yearn for transparency in government, Delaware County leaves a lot to be desired. I can bet this won’t be the last time.
Keep a scorecard, because another election is just around the corner.
Remember Larry Bledsoe was against the changes in the highway department. Nothing has been reported in the local newspaper. So, I will tell you what has been told to me. Brooke, Bledsoe and Bennington combined the highway and engineering department for an annual savings of $450,000.00 per year. Not just the savings, but a more efficient way to operate government. Before the election, it was said the first thing Donati would do, if elected, return the departments to the bloated old government way.
By the commissioner’s giving the city money for the community centers, it lessened the blow of hiring Jason Donati, raises for a cousin and the hiring of Brad Bookout.
Oh, yea, having their meetings in the evening so more citizens could attend. Don’t believe it, not for a minute. Had it been any other night than the regularly scheduled City Council, it would have been a benefit to us.
The political nonsense is obvious.
A short history lesson:
New council President Joe Russell proposed the code of ethics, which included pledges to represent the interests of taxpayers and ‘not use my service on county council for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or supporters.’