Worley Continues Questioning County Commissioners
Former Crawford County Presiding Commissioner Ed Worley was back at the commission room Tuesday to follow up on questions and criticisms he delivered May 1.
Worley was later confronted by Blue Springs Ranch owner JR Isom, who criticized Worley’s actions while he was in office.
Worley began by criticizing the Independent News for publishing in the May 9 issue that he listed Old Highway 66 as one of five roads in poor condition. Worley actually said Old Springfield Road.
Two weeks earlier, he asked commissioners if county vehicles were being used on private property not for county use. Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders said “not that he knew of,” but both commissioners shook their heads to indicate “no.” Worley took issue with the Independent News reporting that Commissioners Rob Cummings and Jared Boast saying no, rather than publishing Sanders saying, “not that I know of.”
After criticizing the Independent News, Worley said he is representing other people. “These aren’t my complaints,” he said.
Worley, who interrupted Boast two weeks earlier to say he didn’t need answers then, said he drove the roads he checked off — Argo Road, Gerth Road, Mound Road, McPherson Road and Old Springfield Road — and that he’s not a liar.
District 2 Foreman Kenny McGraw provided receipts showing the county bought rock intended for those roads. Worley was not satisfied.
“You can write anything on a receipt,” he said. When McGraw handed Worley the receipts, he told McGraw he didn’t need them.
“Sure you do,” McGraw said.
Worley continued to insist the receipts could be manipulated. “I drove the roads and can tell you what they look like,” he said. “What you need to do is go through all of last year’s receipts and see how much rock you bought last year.”
McGraw said all of the receipts were in County Clerk John Martin’s office. The stack of receipts McGraw provided then wound up on the floor, scattered between where Worley and McGraw were seated.
Worley then shifted to discussing the county vehicles on private property. Worley said “a guy who comes into the coffee shop every morning” and lives in Indian Hills observed someone wearing a hat that said “Mighty Mow,” a shirt that said Crawford County District 2 and a Dodge truck with District 2 on a property.
“He couldn’t remember the name,” Worley said. “There are no county roads in Indian HIls. He couldn’t figure out what the truck was doing there.”
Boast said the road districts are tasked “with many things besides just roads.” He said there have been a large number of complaints about a well situation in Indian Hills with residents trying to skirt the law and install private wells. Boast said District 2 was following up on the complaint to see if it was legitimate or not.
“I don’t know the guy in the coffee shop,” Boast said. “I’m sorry he doesn’t have anything else to do other than watch the guy in the pickup. The people of Indian Hills know we’re out there. (It’s) 100 percent county business.”
Worley was satisfied with Boast’s answer.
Commissioners gave the floor to Isom. Isom said when Worley was commissioner, he listened to him complain about the roads, but nothing was done.
“When you were commissioner, my roads were the worst they had ever been,” Isom said. Isom recalled a meeting he arranged between himself, Worley, former District 1 Commissioner Richard Martin and Foreman Danny Brown. “Richard didn’t have the respect to show up. You told me you didn’t have money for that road. I had $15,000 in personal money in that road and you were going to let it go to pot. You didn’t touch that road the whole time you and Richard were in office. Now you’re over here complaining about roads.”
Isom said the “coffee shop talk” is nothing more than “jealous, complaining old guys who have nothing else better to do.” He said the current commission is “trying to live what what you gave them.” Isom said commissions of the past robbed from road and bridge to pay for other departments.
Worley asked Isom why he was responsible for roads. He said that as presiding commissioner, he was told he had no say in anything road-related.
Worley denied ever transferring money out of road and bridge to another department. “If it was done, it was done without my knowledge.” Worley then recalled being handed the budget to sign one year with a road and bridge budget he had not seen. He said he would approve the general revenue budget, but not the road budget since it was done without his knowledge.
“I’m gong to approve it? No. I was told by the county collector I had to,” Worley said.
Isom said “the coffee shop talk” is not helping the county.
“This is not coffee shop talk,” Worley said, explaining that “other people” see him “here and there” and asked if he would speak on their behalf at the commission meeting. Worley then said if those residents don’t show up, he told them he wouldn’t represent them anymore.