LETTER: Reader finds Smith’s tenure at reload center helm disappointing

Wetlands and low areas requiring unexpected amounts of fill have added to the costs for the Treasure Valley Reload Center at Nyssa. (Enterprise/FILE)

To the Editor:

Can Malheur County trust Greg Smith as Treasure Valley Reload Center project manager?

First, what is trust? In its most basic form, trust is a prediction of future actions based on past behaviors.

And what is the role of a project manager? Project managers are responsible for ensuring projects are on time, on budget and within scope.

So, what are the past behaviors for us to determine trustworthiness?

The reload center is seriously behind schedule with missed deadline after missed deadline. In February of 2020, Greg announced in front of two hundred onion growers in Ontario that the facility ‘would be ready to take onion shipment in fall of 2021.’

Most recently we have heard that the original project scope is ‘$9.8MM over budget.’

And as scope is reduced, cuts are not taking away fat – but cutting into bone. The original planned turnouts and access road improvements are now labeled luxuries. My family pass that stretch of Highway 201 most every day. So even public safety is fair game.

For years, Greg has misled state agencies, the public and even his own board of directors by issuing wildly optimistic reports – ‘on schedule, ahead of budget, all is well.’ Until the project ran out of money and he had a contractor deliver the shocking news.

Any trust the County had in Greg Smith is long gone. He has disappointed us. He takes no personal responsibility or blame. Greg Smith should resign or his contract not be renewed when it comes before the county court in June.

Mike Walker,