EDITORIALS

Stop bickering, do your job

Washington
Times-Reporter editorial board

This year’s elections have been riddled with controversy.

It is true that every campaign has its share of mud, insults and accusations, but this past election really put it over the edge.

Is it because it was such a historical election with a young, black candidate against an older white candidate?

Probably.

But now that the election is done, it is not over. Authorities are uncovering more assassination threats than usual.

In addition, the American Independent Party presidential candidate Ambassador Alan Keyes and a few others have launched a lawsuit questioning the legitimacy of President-elect Barack Obama’s citizenship.

If there was a question about Obama being a naturalized it should have been brought up before the vote.

It doesn’t end. He should be able to focus on the job ahead instead of hearing his citizenship called into question, along with other tactics to destroy his reputation before he even officially takes office.

Tazewell County is apparently not immune to post-election shenanigans.

Newly elected Tazewell County board members could already be at odds.

Board member-elect John Ackerman recently set up several meetings with various municipalities.

According to Ackerman, he heard statements that the county board does not work well with municipalities, or they have never seen their county board members for District 3.

However, he does not say if these comments came from city leaders or regular citizens.

If complaints were from residents, it is not surprising they do not see the county board members if they do not attend any meetings.

If the complaints were from local government, they could always invite the District 3 Tazewell County board members to a meeting.

Tazewell County Chairman-elect David Zimmermand responded that he heard only one complaint of that nature in his 11 and a half years on the board.

As part of these “information gathering” meetings in larger communities, such as Washington, Ackerman wanted to meet during the council members’ committee meetings where the press is less likely to attend.

He wrote in an e-mail it was so they would be more relaxed, and have the ability to talk openly.

In our experience, Washington City Council members do not need to be surreptitious when they discuss city concerns that are not restricted to executive sessions.

We know there are problems at the county level. One example was the late property tax bills. Recently, we were notified of inefficiencies in the recorder of deeds office.

Ackerman, as a county representative has every right to meet with local officials to discuss issues facing Tazewell County and the municipalities within its borders.

However, Ackerman should have waited. He does not officially take his seat until December. He should also have discussed his meeting ideas with fellow board members before he scheduled his meetings.