If a few Rock County supervisors get their way, ordinary citizens will have less of a share in local decision-making when they lose their right to vote for the county coroner's office. Recent action out of the Rock County Courthouse shows a handful of county supervisors are preparing to short circuit the county board's majority decision made back in March of 2009. At that time, the Board voted 16-12 in favor of keeping the county coroner an electively held office.
Yesterday (Monday), during the Public Safety and Justice (PS&J) committee meeting, Supervisor Mary Beaver (Evansville) requested a motion to hold a special meeting of the PS&J for Wednesday beginning at 4PM to fast track a medical examiner's resolution on the agenda with the stipulation that regardless of the outcome of that vote on the resolution by the PS&J committee, the resolution will still be forwarded to the county board for a vote on Thursday, April 8 at 6 PM.
Beyond the obvious right for local citizens to select one of their own for coroner is the blatant arrogance and lack of trust opposing county supervisors have towards their own constituency's ability to make the right choice. Let alone the negative atmosphere of partisan politics and a fabricated aura of mistrust cast towards the honorable employees and coroner currently working the office. They don't deserve this kind of treatment from anyone, particularly from members of the county board. It shows a complete lack of class on their part.
There is no doubt this rakish attempt is only the beginning of a full-fledged campaign to centralize unchecked county power into the hands of GOP establishment sponsored textbook bureaucrats. Besides, the only people who should make the decision to surrender such an important elective right should be the people themselves in the form of a referendum - not a cabal of political operatives carrying out a vendetta against a very capable elected official. The will of the people must not be held hostage by a few ego-centered authoritarians.
The key players in this apparent coup to wrest the coroner's office away from the ballot box and county residents are Russ Podzilni, Richard Ott, Louis Peer, Mary Beaver, and Mary Mawhinney.
Tell them kindly, voters are smart enough to make the right choices and to keep their hands off of our voting rights.