When I read the "Sheriff defends firing" article (Blue Mountain Eagle, Aug. 25), it literally made me sick to my stomach. My first instinct was to strike back, but Steve and I had decided we would do our best to stay positive through these trying times. That kind of negative stuff isn't our style.

Understandably, a few things didn't come out in the article.

Like the fact Sheriff Palmer has written Steve two commendations during the long period Steve has been such a "problem employee."

Like the fact that when Steve was told his No. 1 priority was to fill jail beds, he did. Last year's revenue from inmate boarding was almost $500,000, which equates to the rental of more than 9,000 beds in a 41-bed jail - with no increase in the number of permanent staff.

Like the fact Steve was able to acquire a new transport van, valued at $38,000, at no cost to the county.

These figures are straight from the county's 2003-'04 budget.

Since Steve has been jail manager for about 10 years and I have managed a large administrative department, we have discussed management philosophy at length. Some thoughts we would like to share:

1) Employees are your most valuable resource; treat them with dignity and respect and they will go to the ends of the earth for you. In contrast, high employee turnover is a sign of organizational illness.

2) Respect cannot be demanded; it must be earned.

3) Surrounding yourself with "yes" people will always get you the answer you want, but taking the time to listen to opposing viewpoints will open your mind and enable you to make the best possible decisions.

4) If an organization has dramatically increased in workload, but the number of workers stays the same, some things will fall through the cracks. Not intentionally nor maliciously, just human.

Yes, Steve will respond to Sheriff Palmer's accusations against him, but it will be Sept. 20 at the appeal hearing in court; it was the sheriff's choice to have it in open forum. Steve has "nothing to hide."

Sherri Preston-McGuire

Canyon City

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