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The greatest power is not financial power

Letter to the editor

POSTED: December 5, 2017 8:00 a.m.
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Editor: I don’t know who invented the political system, but maybe it’s time to change it. Politicians are egotistical and are in office only because they won a popularity contest, not because they possess the qualifications to run a city or county.

Instead of electing mayors and city council members based on popularity, we should have a job description with certain minimum qualifications to prove that the person running for the office can actually manage, such as a business degree or corporate management experience. It appears that many of the elected officials in Liberty County haven’t the slightest idea of how to manage finances, as we can see by the waste of tax dollars.

They also do not appear to have the knowledge of how to interact with employees, as local governments are losing personnel because of poor treatment.

In fact, these elected officials seem to be on a power trip. Take for example Walthourville. It appears that Mayor Daisy Pray thinks that she knows better than Police Chief Bernie Quarterman how to protect the citizens of Walthourville, being upset that he used overtime to make sure that there was sufficient police coverage. Things are so bad that Quarterman filed a complaint with OSHA.

Then, we have Mayor Clemontine Washington of Midway. She suspended her police chief because the chief did not clean out a storage shed as ordered, even though the shed did not belong to the police department.

Along with that, Councilman Stanley Brown followed the chief to try to catch her doing something she shouldn’t be doing. He failed to find anything. The mayor created working conditions so bad that the city financial director, Gwendolen Lowe quit after 20 years of service. Another powerplay on the part of the mayor.

Let’s not leave out Hinesville. In another powerplay, District 1 councilwoman Diana Reid managed to ouster the experienced City Manager Billy Edwards. This is another case of a council person running rough shod over an employee, code enforcement officer Becky Speir, who has worked for the city of Hinesville for 15 years.

The whole fracas was over the handling of a grievance made against Reid by Speir. Speir claimed Reid both libeled and slandered her, while harming her reputation and causing her to appear unfit for her job.

Edwards, apparently acting under the advice of attorneys, did not discipline Spier as Reid demanded, and did not respond to Reid. Later Reid called Edwards insubordinate for his failure to reply. Edwards resigned Aug. 17. Seems Reid also had harsh words with Mayor Allen Brown and deputy city attorney Richard Braun over the way Edwards handled the situation. I’m surprised that she didn’t stomp her feet like a spoiled child.

And of course, the Liberty County commissioners, who pushed to get SPLOST approved, turned around and raise property taxes anyway. Every time a SPLOST is approved by the voters, the county raises taxes. Typical politicians.

Politicians are all accountable for their actions. As voters, we must rid ourselves of those politicians who want to rule rather than manage.

Walter Annenberg said it best, "The greatest power is not money power, but political power."

Len Calderone

Midway

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