07/09/09 — Quiet kudos: Jack Best's secret contribution

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Quiet kudos: Jack Best's secret contribution

Commissioner Jack Best is like a lightning rod.

His comments are often the start of something when it comes to everything from finances to schools.

But there is something few people know about Best -- a fact very worthy of mention -- about how chooses to serve his county as commissioner.

He has never made it public -- and that is what makes it so unusual.

Best pays his own way.

Because he is able to cover the expenses, he does, and does not take a salary for serving on the commission, either.

He does not parade the fact around town -- and you never heard it used in a campaign ad.

And that says something about the man and the commissioner.

It is not so much that he doesn't take a salary. He is lucky that he is able to absorb the costs that go along with being a public servant.

It is that he could easily justify taking something -- and decided not to -- and not to tell anyone about it.

That makes him pretty honorable.

And the fact that his secret has been pointed out will probably make him more than a little annoyed -- but that's OK, we are used to him being annoyed.

In an age when too many acts of kindness or honor become publicity stunts and acts of goodwill are tarnished by self-interest, it is nice to see someone who decided to do what was right even when no one else was watching.

It is a lesson that could be taught at all levels of government -- the true meaning of the words "public servant."

Published in Editorials on July 9, 2009 11:04 AM