We’ve had a long and pleasant reprieve but it appears, unfortunately, that the mathematically challenged Jon Barton has regained his mojo. The Walrus is once again weighing in and sharing his regressive views in the local paper regurgitating industry talking points on fossil-fuel development and now blathering on about county governance.

Barton has offered us his “learned” critique of the proposed home rule charter based upon his brief tenure as a member of the structure advisory committee . He was only appointed to the committee by the county commission because he shared the board’s majority view of converting county governance over to a hired administrator. It’s ironic that Barton’s criticisms of the charter, if one were just to substitute the titles, are almost identical to public criticism of his recommendation at the time. Namely:

BARTON – “It is idealistically crafted with little regard to the practicalities of managing an organization of the size and complexity as Coos County.”

The public rightly recognized that the structure advisory committee was formed with one predetermined yet undisclosed goal of hiring a county administrator without any regard to practicalities and complexities. walrusBarton, like the other appointed members rarely attended a board meeting prior to the formation of the committee, except to ask for money for SCDC and has rarely attended since.

BARTON – “Proponents say the Charter would reduce costs but other than offering up eliminating commissioner credit cards and requiring public bidding for goods and services (already practiced and required by state law) they offer little to substantiate their claim.”

Once the “noisemakers” as Barton calls the public, demanded evidence that hiring an administrator “would save the county millions.” Sigh, despite enthusiastic attestations from proponents of the “administrator model” none were able to actually provide substantive evidence of why they themselves were so convinced hiring an administrator would magically improve the county.

In another bit of irony, the paper reports that Melissa Cribbins supports the possibility of a home rule charter but has reservations about the charter on this November’s ballot.
CRIBBINS – “I think home rule is a good thing. It reflects the individual characteristics of a county. But I am concerned in this case that it’s small groups of people with individual interests.”

Wow! Just swap “home rule” with the words “community enhancement plan” and Cribbins could actually be a member of the public voicing concern about the CEP.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll
(just before eating the poor, duped Oysters)