'An act of REVENGE by the new majority'

Here's an email from a reader, Virginia Kautz, who's unhappy with our coverage of the Wabasha County Board drama that continues to unfold. Her first email to me last week was blistering; I gave her a chance to tone it down for publication and she did.

Not vouching for her assertions of fact in this, obviously.

Your bias is showing:


Your coverage of Wabasha County in Wednesday’s paper was so subpar that you could have written a better story if you had watched the KTTC news. Where were you guys?  If you had been there you would have known that Don Springer made the request to have Ms. Hoffman terminated when he updated the agenda with 2 new requests on1/16/2013:


-Resolution 2013-026 Abolishment of the office of County Coordinator and Terminate Position

-Resolution 2013-027 Establish County Administrator Hiring Committee

These updates were sent out via email and email is how Ms. Hoffman learned that she was being terminated. Did any individual come to her personally to discuss this with her before she read it via an email……….NO.

How do you think Ms. Hoffman felt when she read this email? Don’t you think that Springer, Wobbe, or Hall would have had the decency to talk to her beforehand? 

I have felt in the past, as I do now, that the close association between John Weiss and county attorney Nordstrom gives Mr. Nordstrom a bully pulpit to get his view printed often with collateral damage and untruths spread about those who are not in his favor thereby making the PB look very biased. Hoffman has a degree in business and previous experience working in government although it was at the city level. A 90 day report was sent to departments asking if there were any problems with Ms. Hoffman or her performance, which you would know if you had been at the meeting.  No one had a negative thing to say about her and as a matter a fact they made several positive comments on these reports. Springer, Hall and Wobbe used the   Gov’t Study Commission and the Springsted Report "recommendation" as their excuse for firing her..............................that was nothing more than a power display to say "we are back in control now and can undo all that was done by the previous board."  If the state of MN recommends you mow your lawn daily do you do it? No, it is just a recommendation and you think for yourself and mow your lawn when it needs it. So call this firing what it really was: an act of REVENGE by the new majority.  This is not a "FISCAL" move that saves the taxpayer money (as abolishing the administrator position did and cities and counties around Wabasha are doing likewise) it is out and out payback. The actions of this new board demonstrate their disregard for the needs of the taxpayer and for anyone else who gets in their way.

The very next move by the board after firing Ms. Hoffman was to vote themselves a raise.

Your biased coverage of Wabasha County has cost good politicians and good people their job, as well as given the unethical, so called "public servants" a pat on the back and permission to continue to play fast and loose with the taxpayers money. You can do better.  As columnist Tom Friedman says, "If you want to know, you’ve got to go".  Please send an unbiased person down to the board meetings if you are going to cover them.  I understand you must triage your reporter resources, but if you are going to call in for information at least talk to and present both sides when there are so clearly two sides to this story.



A very dissatisfied customer of the P/B

Virginia Kautz

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