Back in 2009, Mason County Commissioner, Tim Sheldon, successfully led the charge to cut county staff by one third. Now he wonders, aloud and publicly, why the county Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer’s Departments are unable to serve the public during the lunch hour. To answer this question, one need look no further than the person asking it; when you cut staff and increase employee workload for five years, something’s got to give. In this case, it was public services.
No matter, election year posturing knows no restraint, and since Mr. Sheldon is also an incumbent candidate for State Senator, exploiting this issue could burnish his image as a fiscal conservative.
No surprise there- deflection of blame has long been the trademark of this career politician. Though Sheldon would be well advised to look for another mount to carry him into the winner’s circle, it is far more likely that voters will see a good deal more dead horse beatings along the campaign trail.
On the bright side, back at the barn, there seems to be plenty of public money to fund commissioner support services, build a new courtroom, and even raise the salaries of some of the more favored hired hands.
But here’s the thing: rather than grandstand on a problem he helped create, wouldn’t it be more helpful to use some of that money to hire back a couple of employees, and allow these departments to reopen their service counters during the lunch hour? Even novice politicians know better than to serve themselves before serving the public.
Which brings me to my final question: When does a ‘political maverick’ start being just another stable horse? Could it be when he’s no longer worth his feed?
I guess even mavericks get old.
Tom Davis, Shelton, WA
June 30, 2014