Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy’s views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy’s neighbors, Wayne Mayo, Betsy Johnson, Brad Witt, President Trump, Henry Heimuller, VP Pence, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia’s dog, or Claudia Eagle’s Cats. This Tammy’s Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.
Novembers County Commissioner Race
Tammy’s Public Records Request re: CASEY GARRETT
I’m writing to you in regards to a public records request I submitted to Columbia County. I received a very limited file where approximately 10 pages were completely redacted. I am appealing Columbia County’s decision in the documents redactions.
Reference # Tammy 19854582
The personal file of Casey Garrett --- Redacted verbiage including home phone numbers family members names- contacts numbers, addresses etc. is understandably redacted. I am not arguing for that information. I am requesting all redacted verbiage regarding Mr. Garrett’s actions/ complaints/ and possible reprimanded actions against him, while he has been an employee of Columbia County. I am not asking for the name or position of the person or persons who filed the complaints. In fact, I believe that information should be kept confidential to protect them from retaliation from other co-workers, citizens or possible retaliation by Mr. Garrett now or in the future.
What I am asking to be un-redacted is portions of his file where Mr. Garrett has been censored, for inappropriate words to employees or co-workers under or along his leadership. Under public disclosure laws I feel the public has the right to know what Mr. Garrett called or said to his subordinates or co-workers, the accusation has been made that he called them his “Niggers”. The redactions are not personal information but information regarding /remarks/ words done on public time by a public employee to another public employee or employees. It is not an invasion of privacy but information important to the general welfare of the public and their right to know.
ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (a) Information of a personal nature such as but not limited to that kept in a personal, medical or similar file, if public disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, unless the public interest by clear and convincing evidence requires disclosure in the particular instance. The party seeking disclosure shall have the burden of showing that public disclosure would not constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy.
Mr. Garrett is running for the position of County Commissioner, a top position for the county, where he-- if elected by the vote of the people will have to work with many different officials, in many different settings, along with potential individuals from corporations who may wish to establish their company in Columbia County. And with the general public--- all--- with different social standings, and ethnic backgrounds. The public deserves the right to know how he conducts himself when he is in the work place and how he regards others, and how he treats people in general on public time. Including his staff if he is elected. His actions is very important in the ordinary day to day decision makings of running a county. Mr. Garrett would be representing Columbia County locally, regionally and possibly nationally and the trend across the country is to treat all people with respect no matter what color their skin is, or gender.
The voters shall be allowed to make a clear decision on the merits of a candidate, in order to do so a clear representation of Casey Garretts personality and actions are at best described in the redacted portion of the public record. Information which would allow the voters to make an educated and factual decision when marking their ballot.
I am also concerned why the county has decided to redact approximately 10 pages of documentation. What is the county trying to cover up? This amount of redaction is certainly not of private personal information. And I would like the county to explain why these pages were redacted, and please specify which ORS this decision fell under.
The county has recently passed--- Resolution 66-2020 resolves the following: Columbia County affirms its commitment to address systemic racism and its impacts on Black people and other people of color in the community. Columbia County denounces white supremacy, racism, violence, and racial inequity against people of color.
“The matter was discussed during the County's Wednesday morning regular session, where several Columbia County residents came before the Board to voice their concerns around racial equality in our community and in support of forward momentum.”
Resolution 66-2020 resolves the following:
1. Columbia County affirms its commitment to address systemic racism and its impacts on Black people and other people of color in the community.
2. Columbia County denounces white supremacy, racism, violence, and racial inequity against people of color.
3. Columbia County will work with community members, law enforcement and employees to identify and address systemic racism in Columbia County and will actively seek feedback regarding County policy and its impact on people of color in Columbia County.
4. Columbia County will listen, learn and work to foster a welcoming, inclusive, equitable, respectful, and safe environment for people of color in the community.
5. Columbia County will continue to regularly review its discrimination policies and implementation thereof to ensure policies are successfully and effectively implemented.
6. Columbia County will continue to provide employee training aimed at awareness of bias.
The Columbia County Board of Commissioners declares the day of June 19 as Juneteenth in Columbia County and encourages all County residents to commemorate and celebrate this day.
The Board of Commissioners is looking forward to working with our community partners, stakeholders, and citizens to realize this Vision. Together, we believe we can build a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all, and one in which each voice is valued.
I believe that Columbia County has voluntarily violated their own resolution, as stated in the personal file/public record of Mr. Garrett, the file stated Mr. Garrett said inappropriate words to his staff/co-workers.
Every person has a right to inspect any public record of a public body in this state, except as otherwise expressly provided by ORS 192.338 (Exempt and nonexempt public record to be separated), 192.345 (Public records conditionally exempt from disclosure) and 192.355 (Public records exempt from disclosure).
The information which was redacted does not apply to ORS 192.338 or 192.355
192.345 Public records conditionally exempt from disclosure. The following public records are exempt from disclosure under ORS 192.311 to 192.478 unless the public interest requires disclosure in the particular instance:
(1) Records of a public body pertaining to litigation to which the public body is a party if the complaint has been filed, or if the complaint has not been filed, if the public body shows that such litigation is reasonably likely to occur. This exemption does not apply to litigation which has been concluded, and nothing in this subsection shall limit any right or opportunity granted by discovery or deposition statutes to a party to litigation or potential litigation.
To my knowledge there has been no attempt made from anyone to file for litigation.
I feel Columbia County has failed under ORS 654.010 to provide their employees a safe work environment as well. And are continuing to do so by redacting information, doing a cover-up by redacting said information, is a backdoor attempt to squelch important facts.
654.010 Employers to furnish safe place of employment. Every employer shall furnish employment and a place of employment which are safe and healthful for employees therein, and shall furnish and use such devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use such practices, means, methods, operations and processes as are reasonably necessary to render such employment and place of employment safe and healthful, and shall do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety and health of such employees. [Amended by 1973 c.833 §5]
Columbia County has allowed Mr. Garett’s words to be demeaning and hurtful to other employees. And their attempts to keep it covered up is apparent. He is still in the position of overseeing employees at the pleasure, acknowledgement and support of Columbia County. It clearly states under ORS 654.015
654.015 Unsafe or unhealthy place of employment prohibited. No employer or owner shall construct or cause to be constructed or maintained any place of employment that is unsafe or detrimental to health. [Amended by 1973 c.833 §6]
654.022 Duty to comply with safety and health orders, decisions and rules. Every employer, owner, employee and other person shall obey and comply with every requirement of every order, decision, direction, standard, rule or regulation made or prescribed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services in connection with the matters specified in ORS 654.001 to 654.295, 654.412 to 654.423 and 654.750 to 654.780, or in any way relating to or affecting safety and health in employments or places of employment, or to protect the life, safety and health of employees in such employments or places of employment, and shall do everything necessary or proper in order to secure compliance with and observance of every such order, decision, direction, standard, rule or regulation. [Formerly 654.060; 1977 c.804 §35]
It is apparent that Columbia County has allowed an unhealthy work environment by their non- action against Mr. Garretts verbal assaults documented on his public released personal file, on co-workers/staff. And in order to clarify to the public we need to see the un-redacted portion of Mr. Garretts personal file.
It has been brought to my attention that Mr. Garrett made racist remarks to his subordinates /staff- his term was “Nigger” and this is why we need the file un-redacted the voters need to know.. And if the accusations are found to be true then he and Columbia County have certainly and clearly violated ORS 166.065.
ORS 166.065 Harassment (1) A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally: (a) Harasses or annoys another person by: (A) Subjecting such other person to offensive physical contact; or (B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response;
Harassment based on race. Racial harassment is harassment of a victim because of his or her skin color, race, ancestry, or citizenship status. If the harassment is based on the perception that a person is a race, the mere perception is enough to qualify as prohibited racial harassment. Racial harassment might include slurs, insults, racist jokes, degrading comments, racial disgust, and other behaviors.
In order to verify the accusations which have been made against Casey Garrett, the personal file shall be uncensored and un-redacted. And if the accusations are found to be true. It is necessary and crucial for this information to be brought out to the voting public. Any attempt to withhold essential information by Columbia County is not in the best interest of our citizens or our Republic and violates our rule of law.