Meadville Tribune

Opinion

March 2, 2014

‘Dance’ cards for upcoming primary election beginning to fill up

(Continued)

Talking about the Democrats, Jim Burns, the state Democratic Committee director, will be the speaker at next week’s Crawford County Democratic Committee’s breakfast. Burns is expected to rally the troops to get out the vote in May — and then join together to support the winner in the fall.

State Secretary of Agriculture George Greig was the speaker at the recent annual Crawford County Conservation District dinner. The respect he was shown was obvious in those attending, which included all the county’s state representatives, Robbins and the three county commissioners.

At one point in his speech, Greig got emotional and a little teary eyed as he spoke about working together with township supervisors and others. After the dinner, Greig said he never gets emotional when speaking — except when he’s back “home” and talking before friends. He mentioned how he has worked together with many of the supervisors who were honored.

For the record, Greig is still a Conneaut Township supervisor and often attends the meetings via telephone. The supervisory position is not a paid position and since his secretarial position is an appointed one — not elected — he can serve in both positions at the same time.

He remains optimistic that he will still be secretary of agriculture after the election, confident that when people study the governor’s overall record, Corbett will win re-election.

Greig was unsuccessful when he ran for the state Legislature years ago but said it was OK that he lost. Had he won, “I would never have been secretary of agriculture.” It’s obvious he enjoys his job.

Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader is taking a lot of criticism for his absence from the job. Beader said he stays on top of things via email and works at night — despite the fact the courthouse is closed. Beader is an electrician and working full-time at that job. His two fellow commissioners aren’t happy about him not being at the courthouse more often.

However, the state’s county code doesn’t require public officials in those positions to show up for work except for the day they are sworn in.

In Crawford County, for the most part, all of our part-time county elected officials have generally been at the courthouse every day.

At the same time, a few don’t show up every day and nobody has complained publicly about the fact they aren’t there.

There have been cases where commissioners — and other elected county officials — have had other jobs they went to on different days; but not every day. And, at least one had a part-time job during special seasons that he went to most afternoons for about three months. He didn’t make it a secret though, and nobody challenged him because of the county code.

Some people think it’s time for the county code to be amended to require those making full-time wages to put in at least 40 hours a week on the job — during the hours the public has access to them — not via email or cellphone.

The thought has been around for many years, but to my knowledge, it was never promoted at the state level.

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