Chairman referee, not boss
August 28, 2012
When Lee Bonner was named chairman of the Douglas County commission, he took that as a sign he was the face of the county.
Unfortunately for Bonner, unlike a mayor or a governor, or even a president, the chairman of the county board has always been more of a speaker of the house than a chief executive.
We remember the days when the chair wouldn’t make a motion or state an opinion without giving up the gavel.
Those rules seem to have gone out the window in some places, with whomever is in charge gaveling down opposition whether from other board members or the public.
We’ve known many chairmen of the board of commissioners over the last few decades. Generally, they’ve been more referee than boss, because that’s the job.
When Bonner got the job, it wasn’t like he received a mandate to be in charge of Douglas County. None of the commissioners who were running for office wanted the job, and two commissioners weren’t sure they wanted him to have it either.
If Bonner hadn’t voted for himself, the motion to make him chairman wouldn’t have passed.
We hope that Monday’s session made an impression on our commission chairman and he will take what his fellow commissioners had to say to heart.