From The Delaware Gazette:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Friday, January 8, 2010 The Delaware Gazette
O’Brien’s ‘pessimism’ healthy for county
To the editor:
This letter is in response to Laura Kelley’s conflict resolution letter (Jan 6, 2010) criticizing Ken O’Brien’s dissent from Tommy Thompson and Todd Hanks. Kelley praises Thompson and Hanks for their willingness to accept the “magnificent gift” of conflict resolution from the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, a government-run program. Kelley states that conflict resolution will “lead to unity, openness and transparency” between the commissioners. Translated into language that taxpayers can understand, conflict resolution is a government-run program that encourages government workers to agree on everything despite the pessimism of reality.
I agree with Kelley that Thompson and Hanks have already established trust and unity in their relationship as commissioners. However, the trust and unity between Thompson and Hanks disrupts the private sector and burdens taxpayers in Delaware County.
Thompson and Hanks were unified on June 11, 2009 in voting to purchase the Delaware Hotel and convert it from a private sector tax base into a government asset that requires taxpayer money to support it. In other words, Thompson and Hanks changed a stream of revenue for Delaware County into an expense that must be paid by taxpayers. Thompson and Hanks were also unified on June 22, 2009 in spending $3.13 million dollars on a sewage dump without a stream of revenue or means to pay for it. Thompson asked the sewage company for ideas on how to pay for the contract shortly before voting yes on the contract, as evident on the June 22, 2009 video clip listed on the Commissioners’ Web site. Commissioner Hanks stated that ideas for payment would be discussed on July 20, 2009, almost a month after signing the sewage contract.
All three commissioners were unified in their absence of ideas for means of payment on this sewage contract, however their voting was not unified. I imagine O’Brien’s pessimistic view on spending money without the means to pay for it led to his dissenting vote on the sewage contract.
Implementing conflict resolution for the purpose of persuading O’Brien to agree with Thompson and Hanks defeats the intended design of having multiple commissioners. Delaware County might as well elect a king if they want to wash out dissenting votes and ideas.
Having a glass that’s half empty is good if it’s full of sewage.