I am concerned about the conduct of the city of Hermiston, Umatilla County and the EOTEC board. Most alarming is the conflict of interest among their roles in their official capacity and their affiliation with the infamous EOTEC facility.
The county commissioners now realize that the EOTEC facility is a slow sinking ship and have essentially paid Hermiston so they could walk away from the original deal. It appears that this deal is a commissioner-approved EOTEC bailout package. In the end when the facility sinks, all of what was invested by the county will be lost. What is very sad is the entities responsible will never be held accountable since they enjoy legal immunity as local governments. That means all the private investors will never have restitution if they ever intended to seek it.
What I cannot understand is why both Umatilla County constituents as well as Hermiston constituents are not up in arms about what seems like misuse of resources and funds by both government bodies.
The most recent example of Hermiston’s poor management of EOTEC is a lack of action regarding noise complaint issue with the EOTEC facility. Pendleton with a much larger venue (Pendleton Round-Up) adopted the state required noise regulations. When brought to the mayor of Hermiston, he simply deflected back to EOTEC and subsequently EOTEC defers back to Hermiston and so on. They will become one in the same come March 2018.
Hermiston city manager Byron Smith and the city’s legal counsel are bulling local residents affected by the excessive noise (among numerous other issues). They are now trying to force undue financial burden on the residents affected by their inadequate noise ordinance, by requiring response by legal counsel in order to resolve the noise issue.
I’m miffed. Hermiston can fast track department project over-spending, but they cannot fast track the adoption of an ordinance that has already been approved by their neighbor. Even more discouraging, this noise issue has been revisited numerous times since the facility opened for business. The new noise ordnance compliance issue was brought to their attention in January but still no progress. The noise regulations are mandated by the state.
You would think they would nip that in the bud. What has happened to the democratic process in our communities? Since when has it been OK for local government bodies to beholden to themselves and their individual private interest and not the community and its citizens?
President, Hermiston Airport Road Neighborhood Association (HARNA)