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Heated Cole County Commission meeting

The Cole County Commissioners and Assessor got into a heated debate during what started out to be a salary budget discussion.

The Cole County Assessor, Chris Estes, asked for three more people to be hired in his office.

He argued with Commissioner, Marc Ellinger, about the salary budget.

Estes said this years budget allows more people to be hired or to raise salaries.

Ellinger said if the budget does not allow it next year, Estes will have to lower salaries or fire people to make ends meet.

Commissioner, Jeff Hoelscher, said, “I can tell you right now I’m not signing it. I’m not signing anything. This got us into trouble the last time and I didn’t sign anything last time.”

Things soon started to heat up when Estes said, “Since May, I’ve lost over 65 years of experience from my office and the biggest part of it has been because of the County Commission.”

The Commissioners laughed at his statement.

Estes then began to shout at a woman sitting at the table and said, “I didn’t ask you for a comment, did I?”

Ellinger said, “Chris! You will not talk to our folks that way! I asked her not to interrupt, but you will not talk to her that way!”

Estes then said, “It’s a joke that you expect me to maintain a top notch assessors office when you won’t pay people what they should be paid. You won’t provide the equipment that needs to be provided.”

Ellinger shouted back at Estes and said, “What equipment? Tell me what equipment! Document or back off of it!”

The shouting match ended when Estes walked out of the room twice.

“I’m not going to waste anymore of my time,” said Estes.

Nothing was agreed on during the thirty minute yelling match.

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