11/17/12 — New guard: Remember the principles on which you ran

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New guard: Remember the principles on which you ran

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the fact that Republicans will control the Wayne County Board of Commissioners for the first time since Reconstruction.

It is an historic moment.

But the time to mark that achievement was on Election Night -- or perhaps in a private ceremony away from the county offices or any official gathering.

Why? There are a couple of reasons.

First, because it is not supposed to be about partisanship anymore. That was one of the reasons the Republicans campaigned so heavily in the first place -- because there was too much partisanship and a decision by some Democrats to ignore their opposition counterparts when it came to leadership and opinions.

So, now, before the first vote, first meeting and first communication, it should be about being the bigger people, showing that this is a commission that really will do what is best for the county, not what is in the interest of preserving its majority.

Second, having meetings of any kind to plan anything without doing so in public is wrong. It is not the openness and public-minded action that was promised. It is not illegal -- yet, but it does stink. And it makes people wonder what will happen when there are rules about such interactions between officeholders.

If you want a clue on how it should be done, look at the governor-elect. He has had the chance to rub his opponent's face in the dirt -- he creamed him at the polls. He could have launched a massive celebration and done a whole lot of chest thumping about the new sheriff in town.

He could be having all sorts of high-level meetings behind closed doors to plot out his next moves.

But he isn't.

He is listening to his opponents and his supporters. He has been gracious in his victory. Most importantly, he has remembered that although he will be the leader with historic majorities in the Legislature, he still represents both Democrats and Republicans.

He is putting his state first.

And that is what should be happening in Wayne County, too. Because, in truth, that is what a leader does.

What will come from the new Republican majority is yet to be seen. Perhaps there is more of an understanding of the responsibility that goes along with victory than one sees at first glance.

Let's hope that the new commissioners will follow their new governor's lead -- both policy-wise and as they take their first steps to lead Wayne County.

One can only hope.

Published in Editorials on November 17, 2012 11:54 PM