To the editor:
Remember this quote from then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, “We have to pass the (healthcare) bill to know what is in it, and get away from the fog of controversy.”
It appears to be the same flawed logic used by the Franklin County Commissioners to purchase the Bull Creek Golf and Country Club.
Apparently, it did not make sense to Commissioner Harry Foy either, as his was the only dissenting vote.
Roughly four years ago, Mr. Owen’s gift for a park was received by the county. Why was this money never leveraged with a matching grant? Franklin County’s economic tier standing renders it prime for grants. This question has been asked many times.
It has been long speculated that when a final decision was made on the purchase for the park it would be done along good-old-boy lines. Of course, no matter what property was purchased, accusations were bound to fly. One would have thought even the perception of impropriety would have been avoided.
This thinking, however, places value on how the average citizen perceives things. Clearly many elected officials and county executives do not.
When I asked one county commissioner about this, he replied with words to the effect, “I was elected, if people do not like it, they need to address it at the voting booth. I do not have to answer questions.”
Enter the fog of controversy when it is influenced by such arrogance. Dress this with voter apathy and the next scandal will soon surface, and so it has.
Ethics and integrity are the pillars of leadership. Even the perception of corruption erodes the public trust and confidence.
Why suffer the risk and consequence of this when it is not necessary? What is to be gained, and by whom? It has been widely reported that Commissioner Sidney Dunston has family ties to the Bull Creek Golf and Country Club property. He is the chairman of the county board of commissioners.
He personally approved and appointed the committee that ultimately made the decision to make the purchase, and was party to disapproving the purchase of other property.
Does this foster the perception of injecting the power of his office’s influence? I am not accusing him of any wrongdoing, nor absolving him. Perception for many is reality.
I have read where related questions were posed to him by Mary Ella Hutchinson. His response was, “I am not involved (in the golf course). I have kept my distance. I don’t have any personal interest in this property.”
The question of a family connection to the property was never fully answered. If one exists, he should have recused himself, and had absolutely nothing to do with the matter once the property was under consideration.
What does, “I have kept my distance” mean? By the way, Dunston is the commissioner who told me he does not have to answer questions.
Another question is, why was County Commissioner Don Lancaster, a banker with business interest in the property, appointed to the board that made the final decision on this?
To Lancaster’s credit, he did not vote on the matter.
Purchase the land and find out what the details are later? No thank you. This is unacceptable.
I feel our district attorney, the state bureau of investigation and our attorney general should intervene in this, and call for a full investigation. What do you think?