Take that, Joe McClash.
Your fellow county commissioners sure showed you last Tuesday.
They drummed up one of those highfalutin’ resolutions, a serious-sounding document loaded with a lot of “Whereas this” and “Whereas that” and “Be it further resolved” in big, bold type.
It stated, in so many 50-cent words, that “individual commissioners shall not interfere with or issue direction to employees, officers or agents under the direct or indirect supervision of the County Administrator.”
It’s Resolution R-09-061.
It’s really the Joe McClash Rule.
Passed it unanimously, they did.
McClash voted for it, too.
Yeah, they showed him.
No more speaking out against county pay raises during the recession.
No more challenging the county administrator.
No more going to the newspaper.
Violate the resolution and see what happens, Joe.
And that is?
Why, they can make him write “I will not speak my mind” 100 times on a blackboard in the commission chambers and have it televised by METV.
When Commissioner Donna Hayes asked Jim Minix what the penalty might be for such a breach of conduct, the county chief assistant attorney said, well, that’s your problem.
There happens to be this little thing called the right to free speech, which is protected by the First Amendment.
Furthermore, the county commission is still a function of our democratic form of government.
It is not a parochial school.
Civil behavior is expected in the commission chambers — a “collegial governing body,” Resolution R-09-061 called it — but if other commissioners don’t like McClash’s outspokeness on an issue, or his method of making his point public, that’s too bad.
It’s his prerogative, said Commissioner Larry Bustle, who, as a younger man, flew 130 combat missions over Vietnam defending our right to free speech.
That McClash doesn’t sing the same tune as his fellow commissioners, much to their consternation, is irrelevant.
Not the public.
The only people McClash has to please are his tax-paying constituents.
Given the fact he has been on the county commission 19 years is a pretty fair indication he must be doing something right.
Funny how folks keep re-electing him.
They want Joe McClash to be Joe McClash.
If that means him trashing Resolution R-09-061, so be it.
Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix,is about people and issues in Manatee. Call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write the Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a number for verification.