Published DateTo the editor,
On April 17 I attended the Belknap County Convention meetings, both the Executive Committee session and the general session. Through the winter I had read articles and letters about the meetings and decided to attend one. While the articles published give an overview of the meetings as well as some of the words exchanged, I now understand what people meant when they said you had to attend a meeting to get a real appreciation for what actually takes place.
We elect both our commissioners and our state reps; each has responsibilities of their individual positions and a mutual responsibility relative to the county. It is reasonable for us to expect that their mutual responsibilities relative to the county would be carried out with the best interest of the county and with mutual respect for each other. However, as all who have followed the 2013 convention know, the situation has become very contentious and that played out at these meetings on April 17 as well.
What was striking to me was the tone and demeanor the convention chair, Rep. Worsman, used when speaking to the commissioners and the staff present at the executive session. You can read her recent letters and the articles on the convention meetings and what she says, including accusing the staff and commissioners of illegal activity, but until you hear how the words are spoken you simply do not get the full impact of how unprofessional she is. Rep. Worsman's tone and demeanor was overtly rude and condescending towards the commissioners and the county staff present. As convention chair, the tone, both verbally and physical, that she and Rep. Tilton, chair of the Executive Committee, set was clearly adversarial. In the general session this was also how she responded to the Democratic state reps; none of the eight Democrat state reps are on the Executive Committee. The Democrat state reps asked only a few questions yet Rep. Worsman responded curtly and sharply to each one. The different inflections in her voice were unmistakable when she spoke to the commissioners, county staff as well as the Democratic state reps.
We will have to let the lawyer's determine whether the position that Rep. Worsman has taken relative to responsibilities of the reps versus those of the commissioners is correct. But no lawyers or judge are needed to know that Rep. Worsman's tone and demeanor are totally inappropriate and unprofessional. We have all experienced difficult situations but even in those circumstances we owe each other basic common courtesy; no one deserves to be spoken to the way she and Rep. Tilton spoke to the commissioners and the xounty staff at this meeting, or the way she spoke to the Democratic atate eeps. If she was working in a business, the way Rep. Worsman speaks to her peers and to staff would simply not be acceptable or tolerated by them or any human resource department. It should not be acceptable or tolerated by the voters in Meredith or Gilford either.