Mike Hess is More than a Wannabe

By Joani Rise

We live in a very small community and like all areas of this size, we have our doers and our complainers. It is imperative that when someone steps forward to offer their services to run for anything from political office to litter patrol we say, “Way to Go.” We listen to their ideas, check their credentials and make up our own minds about their ability to do the job they are seeking. What we do not do is call them wannabes! Encourage all comers, so we have diversity of opinions and capabilities. We do not have the luxury of a plethora of people interested.

I had the opportunity to read over Ms. Ayers reelections information brochure and it was an impressive list of information. With all those accomplishments and credentials and the opportunity to be in county government for several years, I am wondering how the last audit performed by the State of Washington was able to give the “findings” status it did on over a certain $8 million in funds under control of the county commissioners. (See article in Chinook Observer, February 26, 2014) No malfeasance was indicated and we can all recognize that every level of government seems to change the financial laws and requirements every year, or so it seems. Just think of the IRS. Yet, with Ms. Ayers' impressive background as a county commissioner, is it not her job to be on top of all these budget laws, and if not, to make sure her staff has the training to do this type of job? Will these “Findings” affect the budget? Ms. Ayers was a new commissioner at the time of the audit. Yet, was the county’s fiscal analyst and had many years of government and account experience according to Mr. Gauger.

In addition to this, I further understand that six or more individuals have been paid incorrectly regarding retirement funds under PERS versus PCERS, which amounts to several thousand dollars that must be repaid. How will this affect the future budgets? President Harry Truman had a sign that read, “The Buck Stops Here,” on his office desk. With that in mind, I am assuming such fiscal errors eventually rest on commissioners in office at the time. Ms. Ayers is one of those commissioners

I admit I am not well-versed on the ins and outs and who’s and what’s of all the government agencies in our county, but I have witnessed a sad degree of exaggerated ego power in some of those that sit behind the desk. It is important that we all remember that it is the followers that elect the leaders – and they can change the vote just as fast for one of those other wannabes!

As for me, I am looking into the credentials and background of Mike Hess. It seems like he has been around for a long time, operated his own million dollar business and wants to be involved. Time to check him out.

Joani Rise

Raymond, Wash.