Back to opinion page.
Fairness not ensured without a watchdogTo the editor:
In 1997, I was present at the Monroe County Commissioners meeting that created the Voter Registration Board in Monroe County. I was pleased to see the Commissioners create the board, because it guaranteed both parties would have a watchdog to make sure no unfair practices took place that would disenfranchise them. What led to the creation of the voter registration board was the revelation that sensitive information regarding voter registration was in the home of Democratic activist Gary Eubanks, and it happened while Republican Jim Fielder was clerk. This created much concern in the Monroe County Republican Party, as it would be very easy for the Democrats to obtain information for campaigning purposes before the Republicans did. While it was not proven that Eubanks had acted unethically, and I do not believe he did, the situation certainly provided for the appearance of impropriety.
Now, Monroe County Commissioners Iris Kiesling and Brian O'Neill have deleted the board. This is a step backwards for ethical campaign practices in Monroe County. It appears to me that the Democrats are simply attempting to "stick it" to the Republicans by erasing the board, since they have taken back control of the County Commissioners in November of 1998.
This is a mistake. The voter board has been successful in its two years of operation, and the salaries of some of the people on the board have actually been cut.
This program should not have been abolished, especially since the board becomes mandatory when Monroe County's population grows only a bit larger. Radical leftist Brian O'Neill should also be held to his 1998 pledge to bring to Monroe County a government that emotes the spirit of bipartisanship (Bloomington Herald-Times, September 1998). In that same article, O'Neill also said to increase civility in county government. Brian, lying to people is not civil.