Janet Rowland convinces newly-installed Public Health Board members to put Director Jeff Kuhr on paid leave

Janet Rowland at the Board of Public Health meeting June 5

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland succeeded in convincing the three new temporary members of the Board of Public Health (BOPH)  to vote to put Mesa County Health Department Director Jeff Kuhr on paid leave.

Rowland has been working to push Kuhr out of his job for months.

The stunning part of the BOPH meeting was who was there to support Kuhr.

The audience was packed with prominent longtime local Republican political figures, including former Mesa County Commissioner Kathy Hall, former Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke, former CMU President Tim Foster (now Kuhr’s attorney in this matter) and Doug and Jamie Simons, owners of Enstrom Candies. Former County Commissioner Jim Spehar was there, as well as the owners of the Winery and Crossroads Fitness. All spoke in support of Kuhr and urged the BOPH to keep him in his job. Many said how Kuhr has done an exceptional job as head of the Health Department, how grateful they are to him and that these attacks on him amount to some kind of personal vendetta. Many of those who spoke were previously long time supporters of Janet Rowland.

One attendee remarked after the meeting that,

“Every business leader or former community leader that walked out of that room said that Janet has lost her mind.”

Another speculated that perhaps the stroke Janet suffered in February of last year has had some effect on her mind.

At the end of the meeting, armed security guards were posted at the entry way and Janet had to be escorted to her car.

Jeff Kuhr (R) conferring with Tim Foster (L, back to camera) at the June 5 Board of Public Health meeting where Kuhr was put on paid leave. (Photo: Claudette Konola)

  30 comments for “Janet Rowland convinces newly-installed Public Health Board members to put Director Jeff Kuhr on paid leave

  1. Ashby was doing his job—if officials hide behind closed doors and are shouting so people outside can hear them, then they have created the opportunity, not the reporter. To assume nefarious intent perhaps shows the accusers are the true wrongdoers.

    This is an attempt by the County Attorney and Rowland to distract from the real issue. The County Attorney’s actions threatening prosecution of any individual to obtain an advantage in an administrative proceeding raise serious ethical questions on the part of County Attorney. If he wants to practice politics, he should resign and not present himself as an attorney threatening non-clients. If he wants to practice politics, he should guide behind his official position.

    • Spellchecker won again! Last sentence was supposed to say he should resign and not hide behind his official position.

    • Does the fact that he moved away from the door when anyone entered the hallway “imply nefarious intent”?

      I’ll have to do some research on this but to my knowledge a closed meeting/ executive session is a legal way of conducting business. It is used for lots of purposes…personel negotiations being one of them.

      It may not be used, however, to hide from the public what it has the right to know.

      Not sure
      where you got the part about “shouting”…

      And then your comment sort of devolves to a pointless point I can’t make heads or tails of.

      Bottom line, I don’t believe Ashby had a legal right to eavesdrop. In fact they discussed the possibility of filing charges against him and his paper. That got back-burnered because it would have been a distraction but good for the person who decided to show the recording. It was pretty funny watching him scurrying around the hallway…”doing his job”.

      But this isn’t even the main reason not to like him. His coverage pretty one sided, ass-kissy and biased…which is not good but all too common.

      • Funny how whenever anyone reports on Republican corruption, the response is always to point fingers and cast aspersions on the reporter or media?

        Lügenpresse, anyone?

        I mean, for crying out loud, you’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

      • If Ashby were “scurrying around the hallway” and that’s what you saw on the video, then how could he eavesdrop? The bottom line is you CANNOT determine the placement of Ashby in relation to the door, door casing or wall without a second camera perspective. Starr could glare and be passively aggressive by showing this video, which makes it prejudicial, all he wants, but it is not admissible as evidence of Ashby’s position to eavesdrop. I thank the veteran reporter for taking the abuse so professionally.

  2. Could J. Rowland be the L. Boebert of County Commissioners?
    Driven by conspiracies
    Possesses a laser focus on power, attention and hence notoriety
    Mean spirited
    *Stupid in what in is calculated to be the
    correct /appropriate decision /comment

  3. Just to show how unhinged I am…I just finished listening / watching the entire three plus hours of the meeting. I will report that it was fascinating and not really aligned with what Anne (and others) are saying about it.

    But the VERY BEST PART was camera recording of Charles Ashby from the Sentinel lurking with his ear to the door outside a closed executive session of the board

    So much for me trusting anything he reports.

    • Ashby was being a good reporter, which is trying to find out what was going on in a secret session of the brand-new board. The question you should be asking, Alice, is, what was the board hiding by meeting in secret?

      • Right…he’s just like “bend the rules” Kuhr.

        What’s really funny is that in his reporting of the meeting he doesn’t mention this embarrassing tidbit.
        Must have slipped his mind.

        • Funny, for someone who “just got here” on the Western Slope..,you sure have the “point the finger at everyone else to distract from the GOP’s open corruption” tactic down pat.
          You must be a fast learner.

        • Funny, for someone who “just got here”, you certainly have the Western Slope GOP tactic of “distract from blatant wrongdoing by pointing fingers at someone else” down pat.
          Must be a fast learner.

    • C’mon Alice, don’t pretend to read the newspaper…because you already know it all! Besides, Mr. Ashby had both the courage to cover these dirty deeds being done behind closed doors and actually show up to this meeting. Where where you, exactly? Couldn’t get out of the armchair? Too cowardly to participate? Sure sounds like you only had the attention span to watch Rowland’s propaganda portion, and missed the damming public comment period.

      Gotta say, the VERY BEST PART of your post is to hear a lurking troll on a blog criticize a journalist for doing their actual job. Talk about irony! Though am sure everyone here appreciates your hard-hitting reports, because I guess the Sentinel isn’t printing indignant hot-takes from local morons.

  4. I hope brought up what the conniving Lisa Rickerd Mills escapades and running to Janet Rowland with her lies.

  5. I hope to God someone brought up what the conniving Lisa Rickerd Mills escapades and running to Janet Rowland with her lies.

  6. Attack the problem, not the person! The problem is an opportunity to do things better. Removing Jeff Kuhr would be a disservice to public health and the community, as it would set back, if not halt positive advancements, as happened when he came into a toxic climate at the beginning of his tenure. He has made mistakes (who hasn’t); he can learn.

    • Really? The problem is Janet Rowland’s unfounded obsession with firing Kuhr for no rational reason. Sometimes, a person is the problem. This is one of those times.

    • This guy is not something kid making minimum wage.

      Where I come from a guy who makes almost $200,000 per year and has been at it for eleven years shouldn’t be doing what he did.
      Even though he’s a “nice guy”…fire his ass.

  7. This really makes you wonder which swamp, anti-abortion clinic, or bible study group these crackerjack new board members crawled out from. But boy o’ boy when you can’t even trust members of own morally-bankrupt Conservative Party to line up behind a crazed agenda…well….if local history is any indicator…you’re destined to be thrown out of office, headed to prison, or probably both (Steve King, Tina Peters, etc). Seems like the Mesa County GOP is really struggling with the whole Law & Order image, especially when they are constantly looting the county coffers to fund witch hunts and political crusades.

    Since these circus clowns are so determined to also pay themselves egregiously salaries while frivolously wasting taxpayers money to support illegal efforts to dismantle our public services; it will be fitting to see them all fall together on the same sword come the next election cycle. Though I guess if there’s one thing to be grateful for regarding this whole situation, it’s the entrenched lunatics across our bloated local gov that have exposed themselves and likely need to be relieved of their duties. Just think of the cost saving! As these idiots were willing to jeopardize cushy jobs just to help Rowland with her dubious Inquisition, in the process clearly violating numerous city/county policies regarding codes of conduct and grossly abusing their positions of trust. Maybe the DA can help investigate/prosecute that instead…

  8. The previous Board needs to be reinstated as no one should be appointed by this unhinged person. The new board looked like deer in headlights throughout the proceeding. Bad optics for all County Commissioners!

    • They are nothing but mouthpieces for Rowland. Let’s get this right. Kuhr was investigated but the board refused to let him go. Rowland’s response was to go after the board until they resigned enmasse. THEN Rowland’s handpicked temporary board minions put Kuhr on leave with like plans for letting him go. Tim Foster is going to eat a Janet Rowland and her vendetta for breakfast then we the taxpayers are going to be on the hook for a big payout. Thanks Janet.
      PS: when this is over and Rowland loses her job. Cody Davis and Bobbie Daniel should also be cashiered for not having a backbone and standing up to Rowland in this farce.

      • Both Rowland and Davis will be up for re-election in 2024.
        The Democrats and Independents need to get their candidates out there NOW!!!!

  9. There are not enough negative adjectives for a person like this. Not quite on the same level as trump but close. No mention of Q but it must play a role here somehow. Actions like this where ever they maybe are so abnormal it borders on the bizarre.

  10. Rowland needs to go. She has tunnel vision. When I wrote her letters about my support of Dr. Kuhr, as did countless others, she would not accept the fact there was slim evidence for fireable offenses against Dr. Kuhr. She just kept beating her drum about how he put our country at risk of losing future grant money. So big effin’ deal Kuhr did not cross every “t” and dot every “i.” Who possibly could in a position like that? Rowland is in it for a power grab at all costs.

  11. Good! With how she wrote about property taxes this Sunday maybe this will stop her from going after special districts. Who in the hell could pass a mil when they need it in this county? Did we not watch the School District fail multiple times? The library?

  12. My money is on Foster, Hall, Spehar and friends. Rowland bit off more than she can chew this time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *