By Matt Hurley | Special to Ohio Watchdog
How do you know when your local government is doing something that the taxpayers won’t like? They do it in executive session.
So how bad does this thing have to be to go in to executive session and not tell one of the county commissioners where the meeting is?
Welcome to Butler County, Ohio’s Republican version of Cleveland, where corruption and back room deals are just part of the culture.
Butler County has had a county administrator position open for more than a year. Two of the county’s three commissioners have decided to hire a candidate at a rate of pay higher than suggested by a consultant who was paid to put together a pay scale last year.
Charles Young is the anointed one. He is a former Hamilton deputy city manager where he was in charge of utilities but he left the job abruptly in February.
Commissioners Cindy Carpenter and Don Dixon want to pay him $125,000 a year, which is $44,000 more than what the pay study recommended and the commission originally approved for the position.
Commissioner Chuck Furmon tried to give his opinion on the hiring during the meeting but was interrupted by Carpenter and Dixon. Furmon lost the vote to go to executive session and so he went to the location where most executive session meetings take place, but that is not where Carpenter and Dixon met.
These sorts of political games are how government is played in Butler County.
There is a long tradition of bad politics carried out behind closed doors in secret meetings. This is not the first time Carpenter and Dixon have tried to carry out their agenda in a back room, and it isn’t likely to be the last.
While Furmon may be a lame duck since losing the primary, he is still a commissioner and deserves to have the opportunity to have his voice be heard.