I find it most difficult to describe what I have witnessed regarding the removal of John Welch from his 16 year position as manager of the Euchee Creek Public Library.
This story is very ugly and exhausting, especially when one takes into consideration that it's happening in a county wherein the leadership constantly brags on its own "excellence."
The facts are as follows: Not once in his 16 years at Euchee Creek did Welch receive a written reprimand, nor did he ever get a failing score on an evaluation. Yet within the past couple of weeks, certain county officials have frantically stooped to slandering Welch in an attempt to diminish the public's outcry against his demotion and transfer.
Example: Over one year ago, Welch's new supervisor informed him that he could not nap in the library's break room while on his lunch hour. Although Welch complied with his new supervisor's new rule, county leadership has twisted this old issue into a false accusation that Welch was "sleeping on the job," hoping the public will think he was sleeping in the library proper while he was supposed to be working.
Hey, stop slandering this particular man and answer me this: Why is Welch the only county employee who mustn't close his eyes on county property during his lunch hour? And where is it stated in writing that this is a violation of county rules for all employees? Either enforce it across the board or back off.
Such questionable actions and behavior on the part of our county government point to the likelihood that some private or personal agenda is in play here. On a much smaller scale, this is one reason why Americans are witnessing the rise of "tea parties" nationwide.
Regrettably, I must admit that the residents of Harlem, Appling and Grovetown did not receive government representation at the Oct. 5 Columbia County Commission meeting wherein a group of concerned citizens protested the county's actions against Welch. Once again, we had to represent ourselves.
As a matter of fact, our petition with nearly 300 signatures was not even acknowledged. If you ask me, that's some downright shabby "excellence."
I would like to express my deep appreciation for the many warm contributions John Welch has made to our community during his kind and humble service at the Euchee Creek Public Library. He was there when Euchee Creek first opened, he provided a wonderful service there, and I ask that he be returned to the position that was swindled from him.
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