To the Editor:
I recently had the opportunity to read some back issues of Condon's weekly (Globe) Times-Journal newspaper. Articles reported on Frontier Telenet’s financial and managerial circumstances starting with the Dec. 27 edition and continuing in subsequent issues through Feb. 21. Frontier Telenet is an ORS 190 entity that has made infrastructure available for 911 emergency dispatch for Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties. This caught my attention as this is the same entity that was suggested as an option for providing 911 dispatch when voters turned down a local option tax proposal intended to provide revenue for 911 dispatch.
The articles detail the revenue shortfalls, inadequate record keeping, inferior management and lack of oversight of Frontier Telenet. Their board of directors met multiple times in January 2019 to discuss a course of action for the financial, managerial and governance issues, hiring a consultant to assist in implementing recommendations made by the Association of Oregon Counties, updating intergovernmental agreements, processes, etc. Also discussed was the fact that it hadn’t been determined who owes money and how much to Frontier Telenet. That task is further compromised as no written agreements or contracts were consummated, and no previous or historic knowledge is available. Gilliam and Sherman counties each were asked for $100,000 to meet the entity’s liabilities for December. Frontier Telenet accepted $100,000 loans from both Sherman County and Wheeler County.
Additionally, the Frontier Telenet board of directors are the three elected county judges. A conflict of interest, whether potential, real or perceived?
I wonder if inquiries were made regarding the administration and management of Frontier Telenet to determine its solvency, operating policies and procedures. It appears to be a dysfunctional, corrupt, loosely organized and managed entity. I have no doubt Grant County would also have been asked for money to help bail Frontier Telenet out.
I’m certainly glad that Grant County decided to go its own way.