The public agenda

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 09:22 AM.

We applaud County Commission chair Tan Smiley for his stated desire to see an end to personal attacks during county board meetings.

We applaud a citizen for standing up and stating emphatically that meetings of the Board of County Commissioners should be about county business, not personal differences and attacks.

Seems, however, these statements are a bit like practicing fire safety after burning down the house.

For if there was a foundation for allowing the county meeting room, the public podium and those five chairs in which the commissioners sit to become ensnarled in the din of personal attacks it was built by commissioners.

They own the atmosphere they have fostered in their meeting room and the sooner they take ownership the sooner it stops.

With the exception of the newly-elected Joanna Bryan, a historic winner as the only female ever elected by voters to the BOCC, commissioners have sat and quietly approved or participated in personal attacks, to the point of making accusations of crimes not charged.

Quietly approved because if commissioners sit idly by and allow one of their peers to adopt a scorched-earth policy on his way out the door, alleging crimes and launching into ad hominem attacks on other governmental entities and individuals with impunity, well those other commissioners approved.

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