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Commissioners could halt their own reports

February 5, 2014 News Extra

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Dissension among the Butler County commissioners may lead them to eliminate their individual reports at each voting meeting.

Commissioner Bill McCarrier, board chairman, said at this morning’s meeting that the reports have deteriorated to the point that they’re counter-productive.

McCarrier referred to numerous reports given by Commissioner Jim Eckstein that have attacked county workers and other elected officials.

“Being criticized is part of holding a political office,” McCarrier said. “However, the insinuations and accusations made in this report time have degraded into hellacious attacks.”

He accused Eckstein of using his report as part of a political campaign.

“I suspect the report time is being used as a forum for a re-election campaign in which one candidate hopes to elevate (his) own candidacy by degrading others,” McCarrier said.

State law does not require county commissioners to give reports during public meetings.

McCarrier said the reports should be commissioners speaking about the activities of the committees and boards on which they serve.

“Ours has digressed into a time to express unfounded opinions ... and to entertain the public with ranting and ravings,” McCarrier said. “During the past two years, many employees and elected officials have been unjustly criticized and demoralized.”

Eckstein said after the meeting he opposes McCarrier’s proposal.

“I think it’s uncalled for,” Eckstein said.

He vowed to speak during the public comment portion of every meeting and would seek a court injunction if the other commissioners stopped him.

Commissioner Dale Pinkerton agreed with McCarrier that the reports should be eliminated.

“That’s the way I feel about it,” Pinkerton said in an interview. “He’s (Eckstein) turned it into a circus.”

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