Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

The greater moral offense

By Stephen J Swaffer | Nov 05, 2012

Oct. 30, 2012

Brighton, Iowa

Dear Editor,

I have watched with some interest the legal proceedings with regard to the supervisor candidates. Mr. Seward and Mr. Yoder appear to be honest, upright men that are trying to do the right thing. Hearsay has it that another candidate also received funds from a corporation-but returned them 2 days before charges were filed against the other people involved. Is it possible that he was given a heads up? I wonder who prompted the prosecution of these offenses and why? Especially given the testimony of the state elections official to the effect that these were common mistakes and she would not have recommended the prosecution of them?

I think the voters of Washington County need to ask themselves, legalities aside, which is the greater moral offense here. A candidate, overlooking the fine print, and making a common mistake in accepting a $75 donation from a corporation rather than from its private owner, or spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer money in an attempt to discredit legitimate candidates for the office of county supervisor?

The current supervisors have also tried to blame the DNR for their insisting that a lagoon is the only solution for Richmond-even though the DNR says otherwise. Could this be because one of the supervisors is on the board of RUSS, who would install and maintain the system? I don’t blame that supervisor for pushing something else he is involved in-that is only natural, but it would make it very difficult for anyone to make an unbiased decision.

Then too, the current supervisors blamed the State’s gender balance rules for removing the only remaining Zoning Commission member that was generally opposed to zoning (myself) in spite of the fact that the State’s guidelines clearly state they do not apply to reappointment of current members of commissions. Now, my wife, as well as many other good ladies of this county, who disagree with zoning have no representation on that commission.

The current supervisors enacted a Zoning ordinance, at least in part, because most counties in Iowa have one. The same supervisors elect not to utilize a matrix for building hog confinements, in spite of the fact that nearly the same percentage of counties currently use a matrix as have zoning ordinances.

Personally, I would rather have supervisors that are concerned about listening to their constituents and finding good solutions to problems, even if they are not as politically savvy as others. We need supervisors who will try to find reasonable solutions to the problems the county faces. We need supervisors that will listen to their constituents concerns and act as representatives rather than as all knowing lords. We need supervisors that will be good stewards of freedom, not ones that will squander it for the interests of a few.


Stephen J Swaffer

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