Cutting Corners

When politicians say they have a plan to help people, the people’s baloney radar should go off immediately. Most of the time that plan is going to help the politician a whole lot more than the people.

So, an idea by two of the Wood County commissioners to “streamline” operations and only meet once a week would seem at first glance to benefit those two commissioners much more than the citizens they were elected to serve.

As they both had hoped to do last year, but wisely backed off, Wayne Dunn and Steve Gainer want to eliminate the county commission’s Thursday half-day session. How this would streamline operations and make it easier on citizens, we don’t know.

What it would do is force people who have business with the commission to have only one day in which to meet with the panel instead of the current two. They also hope to eliminate the appointments people obtain which give them an approximate time they will be able to meet with the commission. Dunn and Gainer want people to come in when the meeting begins and wait who knows how long for an audience.

This also is more of a benefit for commissioners than it would be for the public. The public would be left twiddling their fingers for the day while waiting for an unspecified afternoon presentation before the panel. That might be efficient for the commissioners, but it is anything but efficient for the public who usually have to take off work to meet with these servants of the people.

Again, these changes would be more of an inconvenience than “streamlining.” In fact, a cynic might think that by making these changes, Gainer would be free to leave earlier in the week for Florida where he has a home and spends much of his time, while Dunn could spend more time at his south Parkersburg dental practice.

As we said last year, if these two men find serving on the county commission is inconvenient, they should resign. Wood County’s taxpayers have the right to expect elected officials to do their jobs and be in their offices when they are supposed to be there. They certainly are paid well enough that holding two meetings a week should not be that much of an inconvenience.

We realize being an elected official is a time-consuming endeavor. However, these men applied the job and knew the meeting days when they were elected. They should do the job taxpayers hired them to do.