Legislature: Politics denies appointment

What were a majority of county legislators thinking last week?

Ten members opposed the appointment of Chuck Cornell for District 12 county legislator. This appointment had no bearing on increasing taxes, spending or legislation. Just a “no” vote on a person willing to serve.

It makes no sense.

The seat had been vacated by Fred Larson, who filled a judicial position. Because Larson was elected as a Democrat, the party had a right to fill the position from within and living in that area of Jamestown.

On Wednesday night – for the second time in county history – legislators said no regarding an appointment. “In the 150-year proud history of this legislature, there has only been one instance where this body has turned down a recommendation of the local committee, and that was in 1983,” said Legislator Terry Niebel, R-Sheridan, who backed the vote. “Not since then has there been any recommendation of a district committee that has been turned down and there have been dozens and dozens, if not hundreds. I would urge my Republican colleagues to do the right thing and that would be to seat Mr. Cornell.”

It may have been about the person. It may have been about the party.

It definitely was done for political reasons.

For now, a Legislature seat remains vacant on something that was supposed to be a simple vote. Simple things, however, can turn complicated in Mayville.

This was not good government and, unfortunately, it will not be forgotten. Payback is only a matter of when – and that is a losing proposition for us all.