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Friday, January 28, 2011

Board OKs Accountability, Control And Efficiency For One County Office

It is with disappointment and regret to find that the Rock County Board unanimously approved changing a democratically elected county administrative office into a political appointment. I suppose the majority of the board thought they were doing the "peoples" work after getting the results on a referendum from this past November.
Referendum Question
Question: Should the County of Rock exercise its authority under Article VI, Section 4 (2) of the Wisconsin Constitution to replace the existing elected Office of Coroner with a County appointed medical examiner system, effective January 2015?
The results of that non-binding referendum was Yes 25,441 - No 19,775. Those voters counted. The incumbent coroner, Jenifer Keach, received 34,642 votes. It does seem like the voter's wishes for the coroner have been discounted.

To be sure, county board members in the past have gone on the record saying that a change to an appointed medical examiner was nothing personal, nor was it a reflection on the job performance of the current coroner. Hmmph. That's interesting.

Here were the three commonly held reasons promoted through the local media encouraging the public to vote "yes" on the referendum:

" makes no sense that the coroner's office is partisan. Partisanship creates a political scrum every four years. It makes no difference whether the person who certifies a death is a Democrat or Republican."

...administrators within government should be held accountable only to government, not the's more efficient that way."

...the board needs to gain control of the office. "We have no supervision over the"

If those are the indiscriminate reasons why voters chose to change a democratically elected county office into an appointed position - so be it. The voters have spoken. I'm good with that. But then what about the other six county offices that share the same political scrum as the coroner's office? Where's the same concern about accountability, efficiency, control, supervision or partisanship for the other offices? Why should Rock County residents settle for anything less in those offices? Remember, the folks targeting one office for reform claimed it was nothing personal.

Unless of course there's a fourth reason why some voters may have chosen to discriminately dismantle the office...

In what first began with politically motivated complaints to discredit the coroner, the campaign of false accusations by a handful of misguided and misinformed political pawns has grown into a full-blown personal vendetta misinformation media circus conspiracy designed to defraud county voters out of their right to elect their own coroner...

So this is easy. I'm making a request of my readers to help me persuade the voters of Rock County to contact county board members and their local newspapers and let them know the reasons why they voted "yes" in the coroner/ME referendum. If the reasons are numbers one, two or three, then county residents must not be cheated out from applying those standards in all administrative county offices. We deserve no less. All county administrative offices must then be dismantled and reformed with newly appointed officials and by-laws. But if the reason is number four and I suspect it is, then the county board will likely ignore those indiscriminate wishes supported by the referendum results and allow the lack of oversight and accountability to remain festering in the other offices.

You might not agree, but the public trust and perception in our county government is at a crossroads. The only way to prove that discriminately applied political revenge and personal hate had nothing to do with the media campaign to wrest the office away from voters, is to prove the moral prudence of efficiency, control, supervision and accountability have everything to do with it indiscriminately across all county offices.

Of course the bottom line is, is democracy and the public trust has been beaten into a pulp in Rock County on nearly every front.

On second thought, contact all the supervisors.


Richard Costerisan said...

Thank you Lou for being the only voice for honesty and reason in Rock County. It is true that more people voted for the coroner than for a change to ME and when you add those votes to the NO votes on the referendum who knows how overwhelming the margin for coroner actually was. That said, isn't it funny how the Gazette ended their article? If it wasn't political and not about revenge, why didn't they just say that none of the charges or allegations made by the county, disgruntled employees and political opponents was ever substantiated? This, even after the county spent over $17,000 on a highly biased investigation. And, don't forget, the employee making the latest false allegations was protected and provided another job at the county, denying more qualified applicants. Does anyone care to ask why? No agenda here, just need a change ... Right!

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that board member Lou Peer has been carrying water for his son former board member Adam Peer. Adam Peer: former chair of the Rock County Republican Party, who personally endorsed a failed republican candidate for coroner in 2006 while at the SAME TIME pushing for elimination of the coroners office. Nope, no political agenda there!

It will be interesting to see what boot-licking syncophant is "appointed" to the medical examiner position in four years.

Anonymous said...

There is shame to be thrown all around. All members of the board should hang their heads in shame. Shame on those that constantly attacked and spent taxpayer money to get their agenda pushed through. Those board members are the lowest group of politicians I have ever seen and do not deserve to be in office nor do they deserve the trust of the people. Shame on those that know what's going on and not saying anything. By not exposing those board members for what they are and what they are doing you fail in representing the people and fail those who work for the people. Shame on the Gazette for not asking questions and exposing the unethical behavior in our county board. More shame on the Gazette for misinforming the people. They pulled off one of the biggest shams in county history. Congratulations on being the scum of Rock County.

Lou Kaye said...

If this were on a national scale, this would have been bigger than the watergate scandal. To eliminate an elective office for absolutely, absolutely no reason other than to push out its democratically elected holder for personal satisfaction is criminal. And to do it under the guise of democracy by referendum is such a dastardly if not deliberately evil plot is disgusting - and that's an understatement. Josef Stalin wishes he had it this easy, he would traded communism for Rock County board politics in a heartbeat. I can't believe these people look themselves in the mirror and not see rot.

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