Eroding Confidence in County Affairs

With the county charter study commission midway through its work evaluating the vital topic of whether the Island needs county government — hiring a county manager at this stage in the game feels almost like a robotic exercise of going through the motions. The county commission plans to interview three finalists for the county manager post on Saturday.

Instead the commission should put the whole process on hold. County treasurer Noreen Flanders is doing a fine job as acting county manager and a good, solid interim manager is precisely what is needed right now. And the lackluster field of candidates speaks for itself.

It is sad to see county government continue its slide along a downhill track of eroding public confidence, but the county commission has done little to advance its own cause lately. A principle topic of discussion at the commission’s last meeting was business cards for commissioners — should they buy embossed or plain? A better question might be why do the county commissioners want to spend public money buying business cards for themselves?

The charter study group, which met last night to begin discussing its recommendations for change, quite responsibly wants to find a way keep county government viable. But at this point the group is clearly rolling boulders up a very steep hill.