The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published March 26, 2014
(Editor’s note: The following is the full text of the letter of resignation that Planning and Zoning Administrator Donald Hathaway read last week at the Camden County Planning and Zoning meeting)
CAMDEN COUNTY LAKE AREA PLANNING & ZONING
To: County Commission & Lake Area Planning & Zoning Commission
Subject: Letter of Resignation
Date: March 16, 2014
It has been 2 years and six months since my employment as your Administrator of the Planning & Zoning Department. I was informed at the onset of my employment that my position was historically one of debate and controversy. A certain group of folks that did not agree with the implementation of the laws of land use and development, having created an adverse political climate.
I have weathered the storm of criticism and budget restrictions. But it is impossible to manage a department without proper staff in which to fulfill the needs of the community. My goal here was to work with all residents of the county to build a better system of land use control. Implementation of Code revisions and adoption of modern technical specifications that meet the needs of this community were quickly identified as necessary priorities, along with achieving compliance with the regulatory laws of this state and the federal government for which we are governed.
However, there have been multiple instances of confrontation from Commissioner Luber over the past year, these past outbursts of aggression being well documented in recent investigations, for which there has been no report of findings being produced. In discussions over the procedural policies for code revision, the week after the P&Z meeting, Mr. Luber became argumentative with me regarding statements over my position on the issue. My request for legal council on the matter, and statements of facts regarding the procedural process in emails caused argumentative comments, which continued Monday in my office.
The task here is difficult enough to insure consistent code interpretation that is not arbitrary and capricious, without a hostile work environment being created by Commissioner Luber on a regular basis. Back handed insults, interrogation and reprimand have been constant. Mr. Lubers issues statements in the media typically infused with self interpretations of the facts, that shows a total lack of respect for due process and the authority of others. He has a right to his opinion, but not total control of the Planning and Zoning Department. I have not solicited, nor do I require Mr. Lubers input on operations of the Planning Commission, and yet he continues to exceed his jurisdictional authority in an attempt for control reserved for the Planning Commission. His lack of knowledge in the subject is apparent as he seeks to interpret rules and codes to the selection of his agenda.
His statements made online, in broadcasts, and even articles in print have engaged in defamation of my character. He and his followers, many of which join with him in his media attacks have made statements of slanderous content, without providing any facts in the subject in which they make claim. Let alone any evidence in support of their position or conclusions.
The loose use of information gained in discussions with me and others, without all the pertinent facts being disclosed in the rhetoric being perpetuated in the media is a gross miss use of his office. Mr. Luber needs to be very careful how he handles issues with County Employees who are not elected officials.
These actions follow the infamous statement; if you tell a big enough lie, often enough, it will be perceived to be the truth, and we all know the origin of that form of propaganda.
It was not the difficulty of task that has changed my goals to assist this community in their efforts to move forward. It has been the personal attacks and the statements of Cliff Luber and others, in their political lust for control of your county that make my decision, when they seek to include my immediate family in their preposterous claims in questioning my sincerity of task. Their referencing my residence in Morgan County as some form of lower interest in lake area improvement, insults my professional integrity, and statements alleging that my proud affiliation with my spouse family, is some form of conflict of interest, is insulting.
If the people of Camden County cannot see beyond the bigoted hatred coming from this team of so called conservatives, you too are blind to their agenda of misinformation and prejudice. I will be releasing a memorandum of facts on various cases of interest, and as always, the record of those cases is available for review by the public at any time. It doesn’t get any more transparent that this.
It is because of Mr. Luber, and the continued harassment of me and my staff, that I submit my notice of resignation. I am unwilling to work in a position that cannot realize the necessary goals we set out to achieve. I will not work with a man who has engaged in misuse of his powers to thwart the efforts of this administration, and myself, in our duties and obligations to the people of Camden County. My frustration over the last year has diminished the quality of life I sought to maintain here for my family in your employment.
I leave you with the following thoughts. People who feverously seek power are the ones that least embodies the ability to serve others, over their own ambitions. Those that wish to serve are those for which power is but a burden, yet empower within themselves the ability to lead. Since quotations of famous men are a practice of Mr. Luber in an attempt to compare himself with those of greatness, I offer my favorite quote of Sir Winston Churchill that I have admired in the past. “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Seek the truth in statements of your political leaders, and those that they subliminally task with perpetuation of their agenda. To follow blindly is but to repeat the errors of the past. My thanks to the Planning Commission for their service. It has been a pleasure serving with you all.
Camden County Planning & Zoning
Donald E. Hathaway, Jr. CFM
Planning & Zoning, & Floodplain Administrator
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