11/03/12 — Doing the job: Incumbent Jack Best not encumbered by party, politics

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Doing the job: Incumbent Jack Best not encumbered by party, politics

Most voters don't consider power shifts and politics when they decide for whom they are going to cast their vote. They are looking for integrity, honesty and a sincere desire to serve, as well as some common ground on issues that are important to them.

They want the best person for the job, someone with the expertise, but who is not seeking the office for personal gain.

But that's the voters.

Where it gets sticky is when political parties run campaigns that are designed to secure majorities and power shifts -- and they sink to new political lows to accomplish their goals.

Such is the case in the District 6 battle for Wayne County commissioner.

That is why this newspaper, which normally does not endorse in local races, felt compelled to speak out this time as Election Day nears.

But, luckily, there is a clear choice -- a proven leader who has made it clear that the county's well-being is his top priority and that he is more concerned about saying it like it is than kissing the ring of a party apparatus.

That candidate is Democrat Jack Best.

For the eight years he has served in the county commission, Best has not always been right -- in fact, he has made some mistakes that have been noted by this newspaper and his opponents over the years.

That goes with the territory when you are a public official.

But even criticism and disagreement does not stop Best. He acts as his integrity tells him he should and makes decisions that he feels are in the best interest of this community.

And for that, and because he ignores politics and political party affiliation to get the job done, he is a target for unfounded attacks on his integrity and motives.

Politicians often have a hard time understanding that not everyone is motivated in their decision-making by a party agenda.

Best serves this county first.

And his top priority is making sure money is spent intelligently, at the proper time and with an eye to getting the best deal he can for taxpayers.

He once said that he was a better Republican -- read fiscal conservative -- than anyone else on the county commission -- and he is right.

Responsible spending is not no spending. Best understands that. He pushes projects that have long-term goals and defined objectives -- and is not afraid to challenge those who have not done their homework.

He does the work -- BEFORE he gets to a meeting -- and is open to discussions about the best way to accomplish a task. He listens to experts -- although he has been known to have a say or two himself -- and is part of a process that includes fiscal accountability and responsible planning for the county's future.

He is a businessperson first -- a man with an eye for budgets and bottom lines. That is why he is often the voice of reason in battles that get stuck in politics and agendas.

Best is an easy target -- a personal quality he takes pride in -- because he speaks his mind -- no varnish, no kowtowing and no politicking.

And that is why he has earned the right to return to his seat in the county commission.

It is not easy to get quality people to run for office. They usually have other interests that prevent them from the time commitment or the headaches that public service requires.

To have someone of Jack Best's integrity, experience and dedication to service is a rare find these days.

We will continue to disagree with Best on some of his stances and some of his decisions -- expect that.

But we will not question his commitment to this community or the motivation behind his service -- a talk he walks by refusing to take a salary for his commission duties -- and keeping that fact to himself and by ignoring the political bile that has swirled around his commission race, even if he could have come out swinging.

That is a stance, and a character, that deserves respect, and your vote.

Published in Editorials on November 3, 2012 11:13 PM