After the citizens spoke in the August Primary Election, defeating the proposed charter government, three members of our Board of County Commissioners wasted no time in concocting an excuse to continue to beat their favorite dead horse.
As news journalists, we reported the comments made at the subsequent commission meeting and posted the article available at the following link: historiccity.com/2008/08/29/commission-ignores-voters-charter-to-reappear
The public outcry for the commissioners to accept the will of the voters is something unlike anything I can remember in local politics in recent history. The voters exercised their right to vote and expressed their reservations — defeating a change to the proposed charter form of government. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Sometimes I think Ben Rich, Tom Manuel and Ron Sanchez should be reminded that they were elected to represent us, not make our decisions for us. We expect them to be trustworthy and responsive.
The actions they take now, especially the most recent proposal to spend $100,000, or more, of taxpayer money to advertise their personal point of view on the defeated charter in the hope that somehow that advertising will change the outcome of the second vote in November, gives us reason not to trust them.
When community leaders attended the meeting to plead for the commission to leave this item off the November General Election ballot, Rich, Manuel and Sanchez turned a deaf ear. That action gives us reason to doubt that they are being responsive.
These three commissioners should be a little less arrogant and a little more dutiful; honoring and respecting the will of the voters even if the voters want something other than they do personally.
This charter was not properly formulated from the start. It was destined to fail because its advocates were not properly prepared. Ben Rich and his shadow, Ken Bryan, should learn that it is preparedness – and not brute force – that we expect to see in the actions of our elected commissioners.
We could use a little more stouthearted bravery and not so much cheap bravado; self-confidence and not machismo.
Rich has already received his walking papers. If what you read is true, Manuel could be in prison before the General Election is held. Sanchez and incoming commissioner Bryan need to realize that the citizens of this county will not take kindly to what many perceive as playing politics to manipulate the outcome of the legally held election in August.
Remember, boys, it’s not just what you do – it’s what you stand for.