County commissioners to public: Stop abusing county staff

OKEECHOBEE — At their meeting Thursday, March 26, the Okeechobee County commissioners called on the public to keep calls to county staff professional and polite.

“Some people have called in to our staff and they (county staff) have been verbally abused and cussed out,” said Commissioner Brad Goodbread. “Please, when you call in to deal with county staff, please be polite. Be gentlemen and ladies and don’t abuse the county employees. I was very disappointed to hear about that and I hope it doesn’t happen anymore.”

“Some of the comments that are coming in to staff, I am quite appalled at the people who call in here and abuse the staff,” said Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs. “If you feel that you want to abuse somebody, you can call me,” he continued. “Personally, I don’t think the administrative assistants or any of these people in here deserve some of the things I saw that were sent via email or over the telephone to them. It any of you in the public have a problem with what is transpiring, you can call my cellphone number and you can talk to me. But don’t call our staff and abuse them like it has been done in the last couple of days.

“If you’ve got a problem, you’ve got five commissioners here who will be more than happy to receive your call and try to work with you in a professional manner. If you want to call and you want to be angry, that’s fine. We will still work with you in a professional manner. But don’t call the staff and abuse them.

“These people are working very hard under some very difficult situations, and they don’t need that abuse,” he said. “The five of us are not going to tolerate it anymore. If you’ve got a problem, call us.”

He said his cellphone number, which is posted on the county website, is 863-532-6036.

Kelly Owens, who attended the meeting via telephone because she has been out due to illness, also volunteered her cellphone, 863-532-9006.

“If any of the public need to vent, they can call me,” said Commissioner Owens.

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