November 4, 2006
I recently read the Guest Editorial (The Park Record, Oct. 25-27) submitted by the former chair of the study committee. I write this directly to you, Eric, because you have chosen to single me out from the many who oppose this change.
Counterpoint 1: You have represented in the proposal and in your public hearings that this is not an East Side/West Side issue. However, in your editorial, you feed the East Side/West Side debate. Instead of uniting the county, you foster divisiveness. Such divisiveness is unhealthy for the county.
In addition, during the public hearings on the East Side of the county you sold the proposal on the idea that there could be more representation for the East Side if the proposal were adopted. Now, you are clearly stating that the proposal has been written to create more representation for the West Side. I again recommend that you stop dividing and work on uniting the county.
Counterpoint 2: During your public hearings, you stated again and again that no elected official would lose authority under the proposed change. Yet, now you are saying that the county auditor would lose control over the budget. This double-speak is an example of how your committee continues to mislead the public.
The proposal on page 26 and the concluding sentence in VI.A.3, states directly that, "The county auditor would continue to act as the county’s budget officer."
On page 27, section VI.C.3: "The auditor will continue to serve as the county budget officer."
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Counterpoint 3: I strongly disagree that county employees have no daily supervision. I work together with the employees under my supervision to ensure the fiscal stability of the county. Other elected county officials are equally responsible in their respective offices. Unlike other counties that have switched forms of government, Summit County has never had a guzzle-gate or other related scandal on my watch.
It is important that elected offices remain elected so they maintain their autonomy from the Board of County Commissioners. Unlike an appointed manager, this separation on the county level acts as both checks and balances and responsibility to the voters.
To the general public: Do not allow yourselves to be misled by those representing themselves as having the "facts." If you have questions about our government or Summit County’s finances, please feel free to contact me directly. Unlike the proposed county manager, I am your elected representative.