2013-02-02 / Editorials & Letters

Wells questions “secret ballot”

Editor:

Congratulations to the five new charter commission members in Buckeye Lake. I look forward to attending their meetings and will support their efforts in any way I can.

No public announcement was made for candidates to apply for the Charter Review Commission. I was the only candidate who presented myself as an interested party at a council meeting. One candidate volunteered by calling two council members. At least two of the candidates were recruited at the very last minute. One candidate was totally unknown to at least one council member and no information or resumes were provided before the vote.

Near the end of Monday night’s council meeting, President Hayden very quickly announced that SHE (not council, but SHE) finally had enough candidates for council to vote on. Hayden announced the candidate names in alphabetical order. The clerk instructed council members to vote for no more than five and she said a space was provided for a “write-in.”

Why the rush? Why no introductions? Why no discussion? Why no opportunity for nominations from council members before the vote? Why secret ballots?

I’ve never seen elected officials use secret ballots to conduct their business. I’m not even sure this vote was legal. No matter what level of government, our elected officials are normally held to full disclosure regarding how they vote. In fact, there are plenty of groups that document how our public officials vote.

Instead of embracing council rules and provisions in the charter, Hayden rules over council with arrogance, rudeness and a lack of respect for council’s collective authority. She also disrespects the general public during public comments. Hayden has a long history of controlling appointments by filling the seats with her friends instead of following the procedures set in our charter. According to her own Report to Council a few weeks ago, she asked one of her friends to chair the commission before council even appointed her to the commission. By the way Charlene, why don’t you just relax and let the commission choose their own chair?

Peggy Wells
Buckeye Lake

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