Appointees must be scrutinized

Published 9:57 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

Questioning whom our government bodies appoint to leadership positions appears to have led the majority of one board to step down entirely.

Two of the three members of the Ironton Civil Service Commission — the board that handles the hiring of police officers and firefighters — tendered their resignations Friday, a move that appears to be tied to the fact city council members, the mayor and the city police chief discussed whether or not to reappoint one member. Secretary Pat Lambert also resigned.

While no one was being publicly critical of any of the three board members, Joanne McCown, Dick Rice and Nick McMahon, there was discussion about whether or not city officials were happy with the job the group has done.

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Police Chief Jim Carey indicated that he felt the board would be stronger if it included at least one person with law enforcement or fire fighting experience.

That seems to be a logical request and shouldn’t be taken as a slight on those board members who have served our citizens years.

However, government needs to be looking long and hard at every aspect of how it operates and always work toward improving. This could be a step in that direction.

Too often government board positions are filled with individuals who are on there more for who they are or who they know rather than for what they know.

We’re not saying that is the case with the civil service commission but it seems valid that these appointments should be scrutinized like any other.

Anyone that doesn’t like that probably needs to remember the “public” in public service.