Raise the bar...
Oct 25, 2012 | 541 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the general election just around the corner, Grand County Clerk Diana Carroll has evidently failed to comply with a state law that requires a specific proportion of poll workers from different political parties to be present at the polls on Election Day. Presumably, this law was put into place to help assure bipartisan election oversight and to avoid voter fraud.

These factors are apparently not important to Ms. Carroll. Instead of appointing the required mixture of both Republican and Democratic election judges to each of Grand County’s nine voter precincts, she has appointed a grand total of one Democratic judge. Ms. Carroll also ran afoul of election law earlier this year when, at the request of the Grand County Republican Party, she improperly placed a county measure on the June 26 primary ballot. The measure had already been printed on the primary election ballots, and it took a citizen group’s court injunction and a 7th District Judge’s ruling to prevent the legal fiasco that would certainly have resulted had Ms. Carroll’s error not been successfully challenged before the election took place.

Failure to follow required procedures has also plagued the Grand County Council in recent months. A provocative letter accusing the Bureau of Land Management of improper meetings with a wilderness advocacy group was sent to the BLM by some members of the county council, who presented themselves as speaking for the entire county when, in fact, the full county council had not voted to approve the letter.

Leaving aside the obvious question of why these errors by county officials consistently seem to further the interests of the same local political faction, we must ask ourselves why no one is ever held truly accountable. Why are repeated mistakes of the same nature tolerated? Election law, oversight of polling places, and respectful relationships between the county and federal entities are serious matters that call for a much higher standard of accuracy and professionalism.

When we add to this track record the financial disaster that recently befell the Grand County School District, with a million dollar budget shortfall due to improper commingling of funds and lack of oversight, we begin to recognize a disturbing pattern of ineptitude among some of our county officials.

With Grand County Council and school board seats waiting to be filled in this election, we must choose qualified candidates who will raise the bar for Grand County.

—Janet Miller

Moab

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