The Sandusky Register has permitted four candidates for Erie County Commissioner (two seats up for election in November) to write their own blogs about their respective candidacies. What’s your opinion of the headline for Democrat incumbent Tom Ferrell’s entry? The headline reads: “My job is not done yet.” Well, I suppose we continue to need a county commissioner, or else we’d abolish the job, right? Somehow, I think that’s not the point. I’m sure his message is that he has agenda items he’d like to tackle in an upcoming term (if voters re-elect him) that won’t be concluded by the end of the current term. But, in a Freudian slip, it reads like an admission that he just hasn’t gotten the job done, and that’s hardly a reason for re-election.
Counties in Ohio typically have 3 commissioners (Summit County is a notable exception). Though the three have equal authority to each other (OK, so they do select officers for the sake of orderliness in conducting meetings, but their votes are of equal weight), I find it interesting that one of the three in virtually any county tends to dominate the other two. In Cuyahoga County, for example, that would be Jimmy Dimora wielding more influence than Tim Hagan or Peter Lawson Jones. It often seems that the dominant one is also the most corrupt of the three. Jimmy Dimora, again, fits that model in Cuyahoga County.
In Erie County, Tom Ferrell is the one that fits the model.
Early in 2007, Tom Ferrell’s wife got a promotion within newly-elected Democrat Tom Paul’s County Auditor office. Tom Paul had to fire an employee without sufficient cause in order to create the promotion opportunity for Commissioner Ferrell’s wife. Erie County taxpayers had to shell out the bucks for Auditor Tom Paul’s bad decision when the ex-employee filed a wrongful dismissal suit. In the end, the ex-employee was vindicated, yet Tom Paul wouldn’t have done it differently, even in hindsight. Ferrell seems to have a political machine at his disposal that refuses to be intimidated–even if it’s against the rules.
Voters won’t be able to sack Auditor Paul until 2010, but they have the opportunity to vote for Republican Mike Printy as commissioner to replace Ferrell this November. I think the voters should respond to Ferrell with “Your job IS done.”