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The Herald-Times announced yesterday that Monroe County Commissioner Herb Kilmer is resigning from the county Plan Commission because, with the increasing Leftward tilt of the board, his ability to get anything done is drastically reduced.
I can understand where Kilmer is coming from. He has faced withering attacks in letters to the editor for the past two years for his support of economic development. Now, he will continue to face those attacks, but without the satisfaction that he will be able to get things done on the Plan Commission.
However, I wish Kilmer had stayed. We need someone who is an advocate for property rights and economic development on the Planning Commission. With Jeff Ellington and Vic Farkas gone, Kilmer's voice and reasoning are needed.
The Herald-Times lived up to the "Behind The Times" nickname it has earned over the years. This story has been floated on the Internet for weeks now, and the Herald-Times finally got around to reporting it on February 16. It should be embarrassing to Bloomington's main newspaper that a bunch of Internet forum posters were writing about this long before the "trained journalists" at 1900 South Walnut. Then again, they never did report on Mark Kruzan's limestone billboard.
I find it amusing that the same Leftists who went out of their way to defend City Council member Andy Ruff when he called an INDOT official a "twerp" are now rushing to condemn Kilmer for his references to "left wing wackos". Either this kind of terminology is acceptable or it isn't; the rules don't change based on ideological leanings or party affiliation.
The problem here, though, is not the Leftists on the Plan Commission. The problem is Kilmer's fellow "Republican" County Commissioner, Joyce Poling. Despite Kilmer's objections to the re-appointment of Richard Martin to the Plan Commission, Poling sided with Democrat Iris Kiesling to re-appoint him instead of a more moderate Democrat.
Poling barely scraped out a victory this past November against former tree-sitter Michael "Moss" Englert, earning the distinction of being the only Republican to win a contested election in Monroe County in 2004. Poling may have survived the tide for John Kerry, but I wonder if it would not have been better had Englert won. I have met Englert on several occasions and he is a genuinely nice guy. While I often disagree with him, I always know where Englert stands. Poling, meanwhile, has proven she does not have loyalty to her own party.