Wrong For The Right Reasons
Gloria Delbrugge, Robert “Herk” Henry and Ken Imer are wrong, wrong, wrong.
But they are wrong for all the right reasons. And they are good people and true public servants.
All three are members of Wheeling City Council. As a story on page one of today’s newspaper explains, they don’t like a proposal to reduce the size of the police force.
Instead of doing that to keep the budget balanced, they favor establishing a new city “user fee.” That’s where our opinions differ. Government already takes plenty out of our paychecks.
Delbrugge, Henry and Imer aren’t tax-and-spend liberals who think the world would be better if government had control of everything, however. They simply have genuine concerns about public safety in Wheeling.
They’re in a class of people for whom I have exceedingly high regard: local public officials. They work hard for the residents of Wheeling, endure the unpleasantness of controversy and, where they feel strongly, refuse to bow to peer pressure. One would wish that everyone in Washington had the same attitude.
It can be hard, though. Consider Marshall County Commissioner Bob Miller, who is enduring criticism of his stance concerning the proposed Moundsville Power project.
Miller has genuine concerns about it. One involves county taxpayers’ liability in the project. Another concerns taxpayer financing of private-sector plants.
Yet his insistence on dotting all the “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” has upset some people. He has been accused of attempting to torpedo jobs for union construction workers who will build the plant.
At one point, Miller had to explain that one proposal, that union pension funds invest in the project, was not made in jest. Actually, it isn’t a bad idea.
Sometimes it seems as if politicians – folks in government for the wrong reasons – are driving our country to a hot place in a handbasket.
But at the local level, there still are many true public servants – people such as Delbrugge, Henry, Imer and Miller. Disagree with them if you will. There are times when you should.
Don’t question their motives, however. Again, there are times when they’re wrong, but for the right reasons. That entitles them to respect – and that’s a word I don’t use lightly.
Myer can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.