Letter: Library fight not just a personnel issue | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Library fight not just a personnel issue

To the editor:

In follow-up to a Jan. 20 public meeting in Zephyr Cove, on Jan. 24 I attended a meeting of the Douglas County Library Board in Minden to continue to voice my opposition to the forced relocation of our librarian of 19 years, Patty Timmens, to the Main Library in the valley. During the public comment period of the Board meeting, other Tahoe residents and myself were given the opportunity to have our opinions heard.

We were then followed by comments from Douglas County Commissioners Don Miner and Jacques Etchegoyhen, who were also in attendance.

On the subject of the Patty Timmens personnel issue, Commissioner Miner, who represents the Tahoe District, reiterated the longstanding position that county commissioners “will not get involved in personnel matters” and will rely on the county manager and directors to handle them; concluding, however, that he “did not foresee Patty Timmens returning” to the Zephyr Cove branch.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Jacques Etchegoyhen, then read a letter into the record stating that he was in complete and unequivocal support of Library Director Linda Deacy, who made the decision to transfer Timmens and that he had full and total confidence in any decisions Ms. Deacy might make. Commissioner Etchegoyhen likewise stated that he “did not foresee Patty Timmens returning to” the Zephyr Cove branch.

So much for county commissioners’ noninvolvement in personnel matters!

In conclusion, Etchegoyhen forcefully stated that he would “consider any future attack on Linda Deacy as a personal attack” on himself.

What did Commissioner Etchegoyhen hope to achieve with this last statement? Was he attempting to badger the Library Board into something less than independent and objective participation in the review of the Timmens decision promised by County Manager Dan Holler at the Jan. 20 public meeting in Zephyr Cove? Was the highest ranking elected official in Douglas County trying to discourage citizens of the county from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech? If I had been so bold as to utter a criticism of Ms. Deacy would Commissioner Etchegoyhen have invited me to step outside?

Well, I still feel Ms. Deacy is … hmmm, maybe I better look into a nonlethal self-defense martial arts class with Douglas County Parks and Recreation before continuing, just in case.

Maybe an individual citizen really can “fight city hall!”

N.D. Esders

Zephyr Cove

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