I know Bob Lawrence pretty well. He's trained my race horses for 10 years now with absolute integrity and scrupulous honesty. That's why I send horses to a trainer 300 miles from home. Bob's a fine man.
He didn't take over the Sun Downs Training Center as a career move. He did it because the facility is crucial to horsemen and women, and no one else wanted the job.
Now, Benton County commissioners have repaid him by terminating his lease and unjustly damaging his reputation.
Can they at least admit that Bob was insured when they said he wasn't?
Never miss a local story.
Couldn't the commissioners have spoken to Bob before firing off a termination letter? Do they think the staffer who "rang the alarm" might have been overreacting? And then the "late payments!" Yes, that's a legitimate concern. But Bob wasn't very far behind.
I make my fortunes in rental real estate, and Bob is exactly the kind of tenant I'm happy to work with. Has the county's facility ever looked better? Do commissioners have a better tenant in mind?
Benton County commissioners made a bad call, the crowd is booing. To rebuild their own reputations, they might consider doing everything they can to keep the training center operating as Bob did.
Al Peterson, Springfield, Ore.