A call for our best & brightest to step up

opinions

February 26, 2018 - 12:00 AM

Local Republicans should give serious consideration to throwing their hat in the ring caused by the recent resignation of Jim Talkington on the county commission.
Talkington represented District 3, which encompasses the core of Iola as well as Bassett and South Iola Township.
Because only three seats comprise the commission, that empty chair at the table is crucial and needs to be decided quickly. A lot can happen over the course of 10 months, the time for which the interim appointee would serve. The  November election will decide the permanent replacement.
We have talent aplenty to fill the position. Essential qualifications include a vision that keeps Allen County on a prosperous path by welcoming new enterprises and by being a good partner to our schools and college, the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and area businesses as well as being a good steward of our roads and bridges and county functions such as the landfill.
With a cadre of rock solid department heads and staff, commissioners are fortunate in that they can let day-to-day administrative decisions be left to others while they set their sights on the big picture.
Democrats and independents should also be considering running for the position. The filing deadline is June 1.
And if you really want to shake things up, women should be thinking twice. It’s been almost 20 years since Jean Barber served on the commission. Before her, Phyllis DeTar was the commission’s only other female, and that was clear back in the mid-1970s.
If applicants fail to appear, that could be a sign the meeting times of the commission are unduly inconvenient.
Meeting on a Tuesday morning precludes most with traditional jobs from attending. Perhaps it’s time the commission adapt to an evening schedule so those who work could consider serving.
Otherwise, the pool shrinks to those who have retired or have flexible schedules that allow for weekly absences.

WE NEED our best and brightest to serve in public office. We know you’re out there.
— Susan Lynn

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