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Letter: Diagnosis And Explanation: A Difficult Time For Cameron

Diagnosis And Explanation: A Difficult Time For Cameron

To the Citizens of Washington County,

The effects of my illness are such that, I now require my husband Robert’s assistance with all important matters. I trust and rely on him to speak on my behalf. My memory is failing and I can not express myself as well as I once did. This is his effort to address issues of concern.

Kelly Cameron

The people of Washington County deserve an explanation about our situation and its impact on Kelly’s term as an elected official.

Elected to serve in November 2014, Kelly resigned her position as Washington County Treasurer on December 13, 2016 due to illness.

As we are well aware, there are people who contend this is long overdue. We can only tell you, it has taken many months to obtain the diagnosis we had come to suspect was the cause of Kelly’s symptoms.

Kelly has dementia. Due to her age, this is considered early onset. We were informed of the diagnosis on November 16, 2016. There are other significant health issues as well, adding more difficulties for her.

Kelly’s symptoms have increased in severity, alarmingly so, in the past several months. Due to that, on September 19, 2016, I informed her office staff and the county board chairman that it was possible Kelly might not return to work. She had been absent since the 14th of the same month. I maintained contact and provided status updates every time we had new information.

All of Kelly’s absence from her office was due to her health concerns. Even when it was obvious to us that her health was causing problems at work, Kelly never shirked. While a case can be made that she ultimately came up short, she never stopped trying.

We do not take our responsibilities lightly. Pressing concerns about courthouse affairs weighed heavily on our minds every single day. Kelly had already made mistakes. The stress was overwhelming. We didn’t know what to do. We still had no diagnosis to support what had become clear, Kelly was seriously ill. We did know; if she continued to work, she was likely to fail. If she did not return to work, she was likely to be perceived as failing. We could see no other option than to wait it out, until we got the diagnosis. That wait felt like forever.

Once we had the facts, we (I) informed the office staff and the county board as soon as we were able. With the help of our attorney, we began the process that ultimately lead to Kelly’s resignation.

This is an extremely difficult time for us and our family. It has taken its toll on all of us. In politics and public service there are going to be differences of opinion. In this great nation, everyone has the right to express their views. We accept that there are going to be disagreements and criticism. That said, personal attacks are an entirely different matter. If you make it your business to humiliate someone, you cross the line. There is more than enough pain in this world already.

Perhaps better people than us would have done things differently. We did the best we are capable of.


Robert and Kelly Cameron