“Thurston Conservation District’s board members at a June meeting.
Paul Pickett, Eric Johnson, Linda Powell and Richard Mankamyer.”
Photo Credit: Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
– Editor’s Note:
This highlights how personal agendas overshadow good intentions and lead to poor oversight and governance.
Richard Mankamyer is from Yelm.
– “State report on Thurston Conservation District recommends 2 board members be removed”
“Staff for the Washington State Conservation Commission began investigating complaints against board members late last year. In a report released this week, staff recommends the commission remove Eric Johnson, the board’s chairman, and Richard Mankamyer [Yelm], its auditor.
“‘(Thurston Conservation District) has seen significant deterioration in fiscal health, accountability and its standing in the community. This deterioration is the result of the actions of Johnson and Mankamyer in their attempts to ‘take back control of the District,’” according to the report.
“The report finds Johnson and Mankamyer failed to respond to a public records request, delayed or refused to sign district checks, and prevented the release of board meeting minutes to the public, taking as long as 14 months to approve minutes for release.”
“Paul Pickett, who was elected to the board this spring, also has raised concerns about the board’s conduct. He wants Johnson and Mankamyer to resign.
“This is an amazing example of bad governance,” Pickett said, adding he doesn’t fault them for wanting to monitor staff and district spending. “They may have had good intentions, but they handled it really badly,” by Abby Spegman, The Olympian.
– UPDATE: July 26, 2018
“TCD is acronym for very dysfunctional agency”
“The Thurston Conservation District is a government agency in transition. It is also badly messed up.
It needs outside intervention. A recent investigation and intervention by the State Conservation Commission was a welcome step in that direction.”
“One urgent recommendation by investigators is that board supervisors and district staff undergo training in public-employee ethics and in state rules for open meetings and public records,” by The Olympian Editorial Board.