This is not an easy editorial for me to write. It’s one of those things I wish I didn’t feel I have to write. I will basically be giving a public chewing out to two people I love dearly and care very much about. However, I believe these two need a public chewing out.
I’m referring to Parker Town Council Member Randy Hartless and Town Manager Lori Wedemeyer.
The animosity between the two is plain to anyone who attends the Council meetings. It is especially disturbing because I know how much both of them love this community and care for it.
There are times when I want to hug them both and encourage them to work through their differences and learn to get along. There are other times I want to slap them both in the head to try to knock some sense into them.
Hartless has a record that speaks for itself. His dedication to young people is unquestioned. He had served for many years on the Parker School Board. He is also the Executive Director of the Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment, the local coalition that seeks to steer young people away from drugs and violence and promote positive choices.
Hartless has also served as Director of the Parker Area Chamber of Commerce, and he is the President of the Industrial Development Authority Board. This board has provided funds for many, many worthwhile projects that have benefitted the community.
Wedemeyer has done a masterful job with the town’s finances. The Town has not seen the sort of repeated financial crises that have occurred with La Paz County. There have been years when town employees didn’t receive a raise, but they haven’t had to lay anyone off.
In a contrast of how to handle finances, the Town of Parker had pay raises for their employees this fiscal year. La Paz County found themselves having to reduce their payroll due to the mismanagement of the general fund.
Yet, these two seem to act like the other is a sworn enemy to be defeated.
I must admit it bothers me no end when I see people I know and care about who love this community going at each other. Frankly, this sort of thing doesn’t do anyone any good.
I’m reminded of what I thought of Wes Huntley and Ed Foster in Quartzsite. I kept thinking of the good they could do by working together. The only problem was they hated each other.
At least Parker hasn’t reached the level of what Quartzsite was like a decade ago. God forbid it should ever get that bad.
For the good of the Town and its residents, I urge Hartless and Wedemeyer to work out their differences. I won’t deny there appear to be serious issues between them. However, feuding about them won’t solve those differences, make them go away, or make things better. Feuding does no one any good.
I know how deeply both of them care about Parker. They should be able to resolve their differences. If they need a neutral third party to help them, I’m sure one can be found.
They both care about this town, which is why they got into public service. They need to start acting like it.