Friday, April 09, 2010
Local Tyranny Warning Downgraded To Medium
I would have liked to bring my warning of "tyranny' all the way down to the green zone (low) but we're not out of the woods yet. Those that have initiated the aggressive move to wrest the coroner's office away from the ballot box have not changed their position.
After 20 people spoke in favor of keeping the coroner's office, County Board members voted 16-12 to merely delay the decision for another time. They tabled the resolution.
So it is bittersweet if only a temporary victory for democracy in Rock County. The elective feature of the coroner's office, sheriff's office or any elective public office must not be held as collateral by a handful of political or ideological operatives, whether Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives, Progressives or Independents, on whether the elected office holder performs to the wishes of those operatives.
To premise the return of the medical examiner resolution in the future on the performance of Coroner Jenifer Keach or whether or not somebody someday files a complaint against her or her staff is absolutely ridiculous. It is wrong-headed to create and enforce such a pretension and undo negative pressure on any elected official and expect them to work stress free. This is possibly the worst message they could send. It is counter-productive and mean spirited.
For some board members to refer to an appointed position as a matter of "oversight" is not only disingenuous, it is also to have zero faith in the rule of law and zero faith in the will and wisdom of the electorate. Appointing your own selection to public office will never restore that faith.
I also want to take this moment and salute all the citizens who refused to lay down in the face of authoritarianism by showing up at Thursday's Rock County Board meeting to defend our voting rights. You are truly twenty people "who matter."