Lots of Changes

editorial-logo3Lots of things are changing in Jefferson County. Leaves are changing, the weather is changing, and even the time is shortly changing. But, the one constant that citizens can rely on is that there is going to be a brew-ha-ha when the County’s governing body meets. Monday’s work session was no exception to the sad, sad rule. Every meeting, be it County Commission or Committee, I sit in the second row and wait for the smoldering pot to boil over. Some meetings it takes longer than others, but, like the rising and setting of the sun, it eventually happens. The two team voting concept has taken its toll on the County Commission and, I fear, that they will be remembered most for what they said, rather than what they did. Certainly, personalities are at play, as are inherent differences in fiscal philosophy. But issue debates have deteriorated to arguments and they are becoming more and more aggressive in nature. If something doesn’t change soon, I expect that it will eventually become a true fight. Granted, my view is from the cheap seats, but I see a serious point of contention in the dealings with the Department of Education. The Department of Education’s absence at Commission meetings and work sessions seems to be a raw issue, with some Commissioners defending the absence and others finding it disrespectful. I believe that there is a middle road that is actually more realistic. If a Department is requesting funding from the Commission then they should be present to address questions regarding the request. That is only reasonable and logical. The County Commission is the local funding body. That being said, if there is no request regarding funding then it is unreasonable to expect people that have already put in their work day to sit through two or more night meetings every month. The County Commission meetings last for hours at a time, sometimes three or more, and they schedule budget committee and other committee meetings directly before work sessions and voting meetings. That makes for a very long day for Department Heads and it is unnecessary if they have no funding request on the agenda.

Should the Department of Education, or any other department for that matter, want a good working relationship with the funding body? Sure. If they want fewer hassles during budget time and more cooperation with day to day fiscal needs. Should they be obligated to attend every meeting? No, not if they have no request on the agenda. And if they have a funding request and still have no representation to answer questions pertaining to that funding request? No show=No Go. Sometimes the simple answer is the best.

Source: K. Depew, News Director