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Article published April 18, 2013
Eckstein out of order
Steven L. Hively Cranberry Township
The Butler Eagle’s April 14 “Jeer” about last week’s county commissioners meeting was inaccurate and misleading to many readers. Although it pointed out that Commissioner Jim Eckstein’s behavior has been “inappropriate” on many occasions and that he needs to exhibit “professionalism” and be “brief and to the point,” the Jeer was remiss on why the meetings have become a laughingstock throughout the commonwealth among government officials. Yes, Eckstein has a right to speak as a county commissioner and he should be heard within the standards of Robert’s Rules of Order. Although he loudly screamed “I have the floor; I have the floor” as the meeting was adjourned, the fact is that he did not have the floor. To the contrary, Eckstein immediately started attacking a public speaker who had just finished. Eckstein did not ask to be recognized to speak and opted to interrupt the meeting, and began a rambling diatribe — out of order — about his deceased mother. Commissioner Dale Pinkerton was correct in making a motion to adjourn, and Commissioner William McCarrier also followed the Robert’s Rules of Order, adopted in 2012 by the board of commissioners. I must note that Eckstein has been allowed to speak everytime he has asked to be recognized during his tenure as commissioner. Recently, a county resident spoke for only three minutes, as allowed. He was critical of several county issues. At the following meeting, Eckstein rambled on for more than 15 minutes with disparaging diatribes about that speaker in a lengthy public attack. More professional behavior needed? Yes, definitely. It appears Eckstein uses the public meetings for free media time and clearly shows a disrespectful attitude and behavior toward public speakers, county employees, the other commissioners and other elected officials. His endless whining, complaining, fabrications and distortions are used to dupe the public. It also is his tool to discourage any comments from the public. The costs to Butler County taxpayers regarding his behavior issues have resulted in increased security in the commissioners office, mandated behavioral training, ongoing harassment complaints from female employees, and costly legal issues. Many residents are giving McCarrier a loud “Cheer” for his handling of the many meeting debacles attributed to Eckstein’s rampant disregard for order and professionalism.