This week the commissioners have been having budget discussions for the upcoming fiscal year. In the process they’ve had a number of different department heads in to talk about the budget and the changes they’ve made for each department.
JR Iman has gone above and beyond in making some pretty inappropriate comments to at least two county department heads.
The first was while discussing pay increases for the head of the Ravalli County Weed Department. Ms. Morris had requested pay increases for herself as well as some people in her department. She then explained that for her position as a department head she was paid less than any other department head. Her modest pay increase would bump her up a couple spots and reward her for her longevity and the work she’s done.
Iman, in responding to why another department head is paid more than she is, stated, “Well they bring in a lot more money than you do.”
Really? The amount of money a department head brings in is more important than the work they do? Never mind that the head of the weed department brings in substantial grant money and provides a service that is vital for the community. It was insulting to hear Iman put bringing in money above everything the weed department has accomplished over the past few years.
The second comment from Iman came in discussions with Deb Rogala, head of the Fairgrounds. She indicated she has plans to bring in a maintenance person at a lower pay rate than she had originally budgeted since the previous person recently left. She was questioned whether she would be able to find someone with enough initiative to be a good worker at the lower pay rate.
Iman chimed in with, “He’ll have two women chasing him around, that’s pretty good initiative.”
Everyone in the room groaned but no one called him on this clearly sexist and inappropriate comment.
So in the end, it’s embarrassing that we have a commissioner who so clearly says inappropriate things in public meetings, but it’s equally embarrassing that we have four other commissioners who sit there and allow him to make those comments without telling him to stop.