By John Bowler
In his Dec. 17 report to the Crooked River Ranch Association Board, community manager Aaron Palmquist wrote, "Many are aware by now that there has been a change in personnel to our road department."
It was determined from interviews with several Ranchers that Palmquist decided there was a pressing need for a change in management of the road department so he discharged the latest manager, Paul Harvey, Dec.12, in the presence of five board directors, which Harvey confirmed by telephone.
According to Harvey, he had worked for the Crooked River Ranch Road Department as manager for 20 months.
When asked why Harvey was terminated, Palmquist replied, "For the record, this is a personnel matter and not open for public discussion as any personnel matters pertains. There will be no comment provided other than the previous sentence," referring to his Dec. 17 report.
Board President Frank Ferraro backed up Palmquist, declining to comment on his action. Ferraro explained, "I want to avoid legal complications and any adverse impact on Harvey's efforts to find other employment."
One board director expressed dissatisfaction with the way the decision was communicated. Nobody contacted challenged Palmquist's authority to discharge Harvey or his prerogative to make a change to a manager more compatible with his views on operating the road department.
Clyde Stryker, chair of the CRR Special Road District, observed, "I have had many positive comments from Ranchers about the considerable improvement in Ranch roads in recent months. The SRD board credits those improvements in no small way to the efforts and expertise of Paul Harvey."
The majority of Ranchers contacted either professed to know nothing about the matter or said they had been instructed by Palmquist to refer all questions to him.
Historically, Crooked River Ranchers have shown limited tolerance when news of significant community events and operations has been enshrouded in secrecy by their elected and appointed officials.
Two examples are the Concerned Neighbors and Property Owners uprising several years ago against the association board, in part, about its holding unannounced meetings, and the Water Watchdogs recently causing the wraps to be removed from information about the water company's operations.
It is not unusual for there to be no consensus about which events are newsworthy and how much property owners and residents are entitled to know about them.
While Ferraro questioned whether a newspaper report on this matter was warranted at all, a view apparently shared by Palmquist, others expressed different opinions. However, the matter appears to have been settled.