Published: January 30, 2011
Doris Jones, Oscar Gardner and Tom Walker need to take the advice of their fellow Republicans and step down from the Rutherford County Election Commission.
The Rutherford County Republican Executive Committee met earlier this week and demanded the beleaguered election commissioners, Jones and Gardner, and recently appointed elections administrator, Walker, to resign their posts after an embarrassing meeting Tuesday, Jan. 18.
The election commission has been fraught with missteps and mistakes since the Republicans, these three especially, took control in April 2009.
They have attempted to break the Sunshine Law on multiple occasions, including once calling the police on local reporters.
They cost the county tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and salaries in these dire economic times by breaking a settlement with the previous elections administrator, Hooper Penuel.
And most recently, they showed disdain for the people they are supposedly appointed to represent after the Tuesday, Jan. 18 meeting degenerated into a shouting match between the audience and commission and again culminated in the police being called.
Simply put Chairwoman Jones has acted like a five-letter word that starts with a B … a bully as evidenced by her earlier actions at the Jan. 18 election commission meeting.
When confronted with her own partisan antics by Joe Crowell, an election worker who was fired for showing support for former elections administrator Hooper Penuel, Jones showed her true colors.
She lied, denying she had anything to do with Crowell’s dismissal.
When asked for an apology, she stood, curtly bowed, smiled with malice and said sarcastically, “please forgive me.”
Drunk on their own power, Jones, Gardner and Walker are making the whole county look bad.
They should resign their posts immediately.
Overall, these three have become the poster children for partisan politics and a lack of civility in public discourse.
The people of Rutherford County deserve better representation than this.
If there is any place in local government needing to be open, honest and transparent, it is the election commission, which is tasked with ensuring open, honest and transparent elections for the people of Rutherford County.
How can Jones, Gardner and Walker be trusted to do their jobs now?