Darke County Commissioners...
continues with Darke County Citizen Karyl Parks
Extracted comments from the Minutes of April 2 and April 3
While the Lucas issue seems to be going away with regard to public
awareness and discussion, Darke County Citizen Karyl Parks is keeping
it on the table. She attended both the Monday and Wednesday regular
sessions to continue to try to get more information about the incidents
that led up to the settlement with, and resignation of, Melody Lucas.
She questioned the danger to some County programs.
Lucas has often been confrontational regarding the lack of information
from the Commissioners.
Commissioner Mike Rhoades, on Monday, said that he is tired of being
misquoted, adding that “I’m not going to say anything in public because
I did to a fellow out back and it came right back out a_ _ backwards of
what I said.”
Rhoades was absent on Wednesday, however Commissioner Mike Stegall
picked up the dialog with Parks by noting that he thought she was
“enjoying (her) 15 minutes of fame to much.”
Stegall also told Alex Mikos of Tiger Radio that he thought his
communication skills were good and that despite the public perception
that “we are hiding something,” he will continue to provide the best
information he can.
Delaplane said again that the Lucas issue was over and done and it was
time to move on.
Following are most of the comments between Parks and the Commissioners.
Sections of the dialog have been deleted at a (failed) attempt at
brevity. No dialog has been changed. Complete Commissioners Meeting
minutes, including all public comments, are available by clicking on
the Commissioners tab at the top of the page.
Monday, April 2, Public Comments
DC Citizen Karyl Parks: And I quote “It was my understanding that Mrs
Lucas was passed over for a permanent full time position based on one
or two reasons. Fit, and leadership. During Mrs Lucas service as LEPC
she had proven over and over her leadership in starting citizens
Emergency Response Team and other community action groups. She
dedicated herself to providing training for these groups in disaster
readiness. Her leadership responsibilities involved created state wide
recognized training models and was commended for them. She prodded and
encouraged training readiness in many safety avenues. She made
qualifications for readiness easy.
As SEARCH and RESCUE, I am required by FEMA to have NIMS 100, 200, 700,
800, Background Checks, First Aid, SARTECH II (at my own personal time
and cost), Evidence Preservation, Hazmat, K9 First Aid, GPS/Land
Nav/Map/Compass, Risk assessment, Dog skills team credentialing, OSHA
1910.120 and/or 1910.134(f) Respiratory Protection, and more. Since
these are FEMA requirements, and these are FEMA courses, our local EMA
office has provided these necessary classes free of charge as needed
for specialized VOLUNTEER trainees in an effort for cost reduction
training in a service provided for free. Countless weekly man hours,
and I logged 30 hours, actual training hours with these guys every
week. Nobody pays me for it, and nobody pays me for gas.
This is a service to the County. Through the FEMA Office, your
EMA Office, this impacts me greatly. I’m just not somebody, not a
hot head, I’m upset about this because the training I’m losing through
the County has been provided and supplied by the EMA Office. My
question is, with Melody no longer in the EMA office, will these
educational classes continue? If we want something in training,
we usually go to her and say “well this is still required by FEMA and
we need this class; and she finds other people in the County who are
also in need of the class for credentialing and she will put on the
class and we’ve got the class.
The reason I am asking, is many counties have dropped their civilian
emergency response teams and training as LEPC Directors have been
replaced and phased out. When we go to state or interstate
seminars for continuing education, we continue to see this team support
drop as search teams scramble for new training source outlets.
Every Township Trustee, and even the County Commissioners are required
BY LAW to have NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800 as a minimum requirement for
the job. These courses are on line, but they are difficult to wade
through and also difficult to pass. Those who have taken the 800 NIMS
class find it exceedingly hard to pass.
Melody took the county high fail rate and offered classes to help break
it down and assist our leadership in becoming job compliant.
She was in the process of bringing Darke County into a storm Ready
designation, when she was forced from her position. She had many irons
in the fire that have been dropped in her absence to the detriment of
this county. I can only think these projects have been dropped due to
the vacancy of a person in a LEADERSHIP position.
Thus the argument that she lacked leadership at the time these
decisions were being made is invalidated.
I was informed that she was overlooked for the position because of
“FIT”, misunderstanding the exact meaning of the term, and observing
melody’s almost seamless service in the safety community, I can only
see “fitness” as a conflict between the Commissioners Office, and a
perceived personal vendetta against Melody.
If this is true, I ask you to please put your personal pouts aside, and
restore a vital resource to our county back in the position where she
best fits. She loved her job, and it showed. Melody and Mindy
make a superlative team together. If the Commissioners had ever been
aware of exactly what this office has offered our community, you would
treasure the resources you had, and protected them, not ousted them.
I implore you to please rectify this mistake, and I will gladly go
Commissioner Stegall: I have a question, have you talked to Mindy
about the teams?
Ms. Parks: She was, we did a search drill yesterday, and we had
eight (8) hours.
Commissioner Stegall: Is she planning on continuing the program?
Ms. Parks: Melody will teach the classes.
Commissioner Stegall: I didn’t ask you that. Is Mindy
planning on continuing the program?
Ms. Parks: She asked Melody if she would teach the classes.
Commissioner Stegall: So she is continuing, so your assertion,
what you said earlier was that you was afraid this was going to go away
under Mindy? That is what you said. You were afraid that.
Ms. Parks: It is in dangered and Melody is not, Mindy is not
going to continue all the training, she can’t.
Commissioner Stegall: Did she say that she wasn’t?
Ms. Parks: No.
Commissioner Stegall: She didn’t.
Ms. Parks: Ask her, ask her.
Commissioner Stegall: I’m asking you because you are the one that
is making the assertion. Did you ask her if she was not going to
Ms Parks: No, she asked me.
Commissioner Stegall: You didn’t, ok. So that tells me that
you really are making an assumption here, correct? You really
don’t know, is that right?
Ms. Parks: Mindy is not really giving me any answers out of the
Commissioner Stegall: You don’t know then, do you?
Ms. Parks: No, I’m not getting answers.
Commissioner Stegall: So, last week you came in and made some pretty
healthy charges against us. You even told me to my face that I
was a liar, cheat and a criminal. That’s fine, that is your
opinion. But then you quoted one of the, probably one of the
greatest Presidents and the greatest minds that this country has ever
had. I’m assuming you really respect him, Thomas Jefferson?
Do you respect Thomas Jefferson?
Ms Parks: Yes.
Commissioner Stegall: Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man, and
said a lot of things. And not only did he make the remark about
despotism; he made one that you need to hear. I’m then going to
quote you two (2) more from another guy whom I think was one of the
“brilliant orders” of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill. But
Mr. Jefferson said; and you have just stated that you do not know what
is going on, so, Mr. Jefferson said, “He who knows nothing is closer to
the truth than he who’s mind is filled with falsehoods and
errors”. You might want to think about that. You really
don’t know what is going on so you might want to find out. Then
Mr. Churchill, who is also very brilliant, said a thing that I want to,
your partly right on a lot of things. He said “Courage is what it
takes to stand up and speak”; you have shown that; and “Courage
is also what it takes to sit down and listen”, you might want to follow
that part of it. One more, and this is kind of humorous, but it
is the truth. He said, “Man will occasionally stumble over the
truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue
on”. I just thought you might want to think about those.
Ms. Parks: Would you explain that one to me?
Commissioner Stegall: Absolutely. A lot of times we are
given the truth, we see it, we just don’t like it, and we just continue
on down the path were going.
Ms. Parks: Could this be both ways?
Commissioner Stegall: Absolutely, absolutely.
Ms. Parks: Alright, that is all I wanted.
Commissioner Rhoades: Mr. Dean?
DC Citizen Fred Dean: After reading the article in the “Early
Bird” yesterday, and Mrs. Lucas stated and gave dates, times and
everything that took place makes it sound awfully correct. The
public would just honestly like to know the honest truth. My
question is, did she speak the truth, yes or no?
Commissioner Rhoades: I will put it this way. Some was, some was
stretched and some wasn’t.
Ms. Parks: Can you elaborate?
Commissioner Rhoades: Nope, no.
Commissioner Stegall: I think what she did more than anything was
to put a timeline to it, that is what she did.
Commissioner Rhoades: Elisabeth; Fred, no matter what we say it
is going to get twisted. Some points in there were good, some
were stretched and some were fabricated. End of discussion.
Ms. Parks: You never defend yourself, and there for awhile we was
left in the loom.
Commissioner Rhoades: It wouldn’t have done any good.
Elisabeth Wirrig (w/Daily Advocate) go ahead your next; Fred, I will
talk to you later ok, because I’m not going to say anything in public
because I did to a fellow out back and it came right back out a_ _
backwards of what I said. There is no since in defending me,
because they will pick it apart.
Ms. Parks: It is recorded.
Commissioner Rhoades: That is fine. It doesn’t matter if it
is recorded here or not cause you’re going to do something different on
the blog, or wherever you want to print it, and everybody else does
too, so it doesn’t matter.
Ms. Parks: Because we never get anything, anything back.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
DC Citizen Karyl Parks: Last week when you asked me if I had, or I knew
if these programs were in jeopardy or not, and you asked me if I asked
Mindy, and I had not; and I did today, I mean not today but
previously. Her comments were she felt I was justified in being
fearful of losing these programs because she can only keep so many
balls in the air.
Commissioner Stegall: Ok.
Ms. Parks: So, my fears are justified. (Ms. Parks read the
I find it ironic, or maybe a subconscious tell, that you chose the
quotes by Thomas Jefferson and Churchill. It would seem more
appropriate that you “listened” to them.
I HAVE been listening. I have seen from meeting to meeting direct
conflicts in statements from you, the Commissioners. Your only defense
is to call others liars, when you have provided no information or other
After being told by Mr. Stegall “you have just stated that you do not
know what is going on”, you also quoted Mr. Jefferson; “He who knows
nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with
falsehoods and errors”. Then you stated “You might want to think about
that. You really don’t know what is going on so you might want to find
out.” How do we do that when you will not tell us? After thinking
about it, the public has been trying to find out. My feelings are that
so far the only falsehoods and errors demonstrated (known) appear to be
coming from this office, and since you say “you know nothing”, using
your Jefferson quote would imply that I am closer to the truth.
Then you quote Mr. Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and
speak”; and “Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”.
“You might want to follow that part”, that was your quote. You go on to
say “One more, and this is kind of humorous, but it is the truth. He
said, ‘Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the
time he will pick himself up and continue on”. I just thought you might
want to think about those.
Ok, this is an interpretation: A lot of times we are given the truth,
we see it, we just don’t like it, and we just continue on down the path
The real interpretation is: people often ignore inconvenient facts or
truths, which force them to think about something as correct or are
sure of something being unquestionably right or wrong; or shake their
beliefs or sense of right/wrong. Hence they continue on their old
beliefs or moral values as if they never discovered` the uncomfortable
truth rather than deal with the trouble of re-aligning ones stand or
change earlier beliefs. This to me is more applicable to the
Commissioners than to my pursuit of truth. It is the Commissioners’
values and morals and values that need re-aligned. Admit to the truth,
stop stumbling, and pick yourselves up, implement corrective actions,
and then we can continue on.
Some of the things you have said when it comes to Leadership and hiring
practices, and I wanted to go over leadership because I am beginning to
think that you don’t know the definition of LEADERSHIP.
LEADERSHIP - The bait and switch - first said that Melody had none
whatsoever. After that was debunked, stated by Mr. Rhoades that he
missed that on the resume’. Then that switched to “fit”- fit to what,
them personally or with the community? But you as the Commissioners
seem to be doing a LOT of BAIT and SWITCH.
CNO Editor: Parks then listed of a numer of qualities that she felt was
pertinent... read them in the Commissioners Meeting notes posted today.
Commissioner Stegall: Thank you very very much for that. I
do have one question. You keep throwing up this fear and
intimidation. Who are we intimidating?
Ms. Parks: What about the people that, if they speak out about
something, and they feel has done wrong, lose their jobs, that is fear
Commissioner Stegall: Have we intimidated you?
Ms. Parks: You have tried. Look at the minutes from the
last meeting. If that isn’t an attempt to intimidate, than I
don’t know what it is.
Commissioner Stegall: Explain it, could you explain that to
me? How I intimidated you by asking you a question?
Ms. Parks: You didn’t, because I don’t get intimidated very
easily. You have probably figured that out. But, it
certainly was an attempt and others that have read the minutes also
feel it was rude and intimidating.
Commissioner Stegall: Really. So you don’t think you was
rude and intimidating, and you called me a cheat, liar & thief?
Ms. Parks: That was off the “record”.
Commissioner Stegall: It doesn’t matter, you still said it.
If your going to say it off the record, you might as well say it on.
Ms. Parks: It wasn’t personal. I feel that way about all
Politicians in general.
Commissioner Stegall: Oh, ok. I do want to correct you on
one thing. You did miss quote me on what was said when you left
the door. What was said was, I said “I will see you next
Wednesday”; and you said “ha huh, what makes you think that I will be
back Wednesday”? That is when I said, “you’ll be back because you
are enjoying your 15 minutes of fame to much”. So there was a
little bit more to that conversation. But I do want to thank you
for coming back. You do make this entertaining and I do get a
kick out of it.
Commissioner Stegall: Alex?
Alex Mikos w/TIGER Radio: Obviously, I think, it has been well
documented that you take pride in your communication skills.
Commissioner Stegall: Yes.
Alex Mikos: with the community, whether that is your, with the
Advocate Online, with the County News, and Darke Journal, my program on
Community Ties on WTGR; do you feel that your relationship with the
community, whether it is communication that has taken a hit to the
Commissioner Stegall: I think the people that think we are hiding
something, will always think that. But I do think that as far as
me communicating with the public, am going to continue that. As a
matter of fact, I have a “Coffee with the Commissioner” coming up on
April 14th. I’m going to continue with that cause that is the
only way that, I’m trying to bring the government back to the
people. Now, some people don’t believe that, which is fine.
Some people think that, you know, whatever. But I’m going to
continue down that path because I really believe what we are doing, by
trying to bring back the government back to the people. Has it
taken a hit? Not from what I have heard, no. That is just
what I have heard, I don’t know.
Commissioner Delaplane: I think communication is a good aspect of
what we need to do. But it also needs to be in the correct
setting and also in the correct manner. When we have personnel
issues, a lot of the time that needs to be within the Commissioner
Board. And I know I have talked to other business people and
lawyers and everything and they say that we are doing the right thing
by not telling the whole story, as to what people think it is. We
have dealt with the situation, we handled it and now it is done.
And they have said that we need to continue to move on. So I
think when it comes to personnel issues, sometimes that is another
scenario, open communications for what we are doing and the projects
that we are handling, I think is very additively out there in the
public. But there is some things that need to be just where they are.
Once they have been dealt with and handled, we learn, and we are all
human, and that is where they need to be.