I recently read, mostly with a mild interest, yet concern for the community impacted by the numerous front page articles in the Park Record, of the unabashed attempts by Kenny Griswold to win his case in the media. Without reflecting on the merits of the case and not knowing all the facts, it may seem important, however, front page news week after week; l don’t think so.
On Nov. 7, 2006 we as citizens in Summit County have a rare opportunity to direct or redirect the governance of our county. Now, that is something that truly impacts the entire community, and worthy of front page coverage, including radio and TV.
I am one of the citizens who voted to review, and I stress voted to review, a change in governance. There was, and still exists, a need to make our county governance more efficient and productive. That being said, in no way does this imply I feel that our present form of governance is out of control or is totally ineffective. Fact is, over the years the commissioners, especially Bob Richard, and Ken Woolsthume, have been instrumental in solving many major issues facing our county and been most generous in their time and efforts in assisting the community in whatever needs they may have. I may not have always agreed with them, however, I feel Summit County citizens owe them a lot of thanks for their professionalism and contribution. Without hesitation I would cast my vote for their re-election.
I have read with curious interest the editorials supporting the change of governance. I am one of the few community members who attended the preliminary public hearings, and the final commission hearings. I must give credit to the devoted volunteers who spent countless hours reviewing the options, however, it would be remise if I didn’t note that both county commission hearings were meet with a majority of the citizens voicing opposition to their final proposal. I was one of those voicing my discomfort.
I am uncomfortable with following fundamental issues:
1) Besides an initial public impute session held early in 2005, the final proposal allowed no options, just an up and down vote, both by the commission and now by the voting citizens on Nov.7th, 2006. It must be noted that committee reviewing the proposals and county commission decisions were not unanimous and public impute in front of the commission received generally unfavorable comments.
2) Having read the complete final report I am unclear of the concise responsibilities of this new county manager. Many county departments are managed by elected officials who may not be subject to directives from this new county manager.
3) How many commission or council responsibilities would be truly relieved by this new county manager? For instance, can the county manager pass ordinances, make rules and regulations affecting public safety including Kimball Junction traffic and law enforcement, approve a budget for county expenditures, and determine land uses and variances. I don’t think so; my understanding is legislatively these fundamental critical issues, which consume most of the commission agenda, cannot be assigned to a county manager.
Truly believing in the democratic process, I am cautiously optimistic that this article will stir a reasonable and informative public debate, so the citizens of Summit County can make an informed decision. There are other concerns I have, which I am willing to discuss in as public forum. I challenge those in favor or those opposed to the change in governance, to debate this very important issue in a public forum, including other forums apart from one-sided newspaper editorials or unwarranted derogatory signage displays. I for one would like to be truly informed, and would welcome the opportunity to participate, with an open mind, in this process of understanding and informing our community. I am confident an informed community will make a responsible informed decision!
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