Monday, April 18, 2011

BUTLER COUNTY: Crazy Commissioner Carpenter Caught in Confrontation

I flagged this story in my email because, as I said on Facebook last week, I have been busy but some stories just have to be covered on WMD. 

There is a certain paranoia that surrounds Commissioner Cindy Carpenter like an aura or thick fog.  It does not matter what she does or says, if it backfires, she tries to blame somebody else.  I have no recollection of her taking responsibility for anything she has done or said that didn't come up roses, rainbows, sunshine and unicorns.  Near as I can tell from her public record, she makes absolutely no mistakes and is perfect in every way.  That's because when she does goof up, she blames somebody else for it.

The latest example is Carpenter shooting off her mouth leaving a county administrator having to file a complaint due to the nature of the "poor choice of words" employed.

Mikey Pitman has the story over at the Journal News:

Office of Management and Budget Director Pete Landrum reported on April 5 that county Commissioner Cindy Carpenter said, “Line them up and shoot them” during a conversation in which she was expressing frustration about the public defenders project and how items are placed on the agenda.

Landrum wouldn’t comment Thursday evening on the event other than to say, “Something was said and I reported it as county policy demands. I was following county policy. If I didn’t, I’d be reprimanded.”

Carpenter admitted making the statement as hyperbole to make a point. She said she immediately apologized for the frustration she demonstrated and didn’t think it upset Landrum.
The complaint was taken to Commission President Chuck Furmon and Prosecutor Mike Gmoser who now have to spend time "investigating" this nonsense because Cindy Carpenter can't understand that she isn't supposed to threaten people who work for the county.

Why would Landrum think that Carpenter held animosity towards him?  Back to the Pitman story for that:
Before Carpenter took office, the jobs held by Landrum, Administrator Bruce Jewett and Budget and Financial Planning Manager Tonyia Burnett were part of an alleged plan she and Commissioner Don Dixon developed. As part of such a plan, Landrum and Burnett would have been fired while Jewett would have been demoted and transferred.
She's been gunning for him anyway...

I wish I could say that this was the first time I've heard of an incident where Carpenter made people feel uncomfortable or intimidated but it isn't.  I've said it many times before and I'll say it again here: Carpenter is a Mike Fox protegee and we'll be seeing LOTS more incidents like this one until she is either voted out of office or learns that the days "old style" politics in Butler County are over and will no longer be tolerated by the community she has been elected to serve.

More importantly, note how she tries to deflect the blame and point fingers at Furmon and Dixon near the end of the piece:
But said since she took office, Carpenter said she has had felt resistance with her fellow commissioners, Jewett and Landrum.

“Since I came on board, the commissioners have made it as difficult as possible, Bruce has made it as difficult as possible, Pete has made it as difficult as possible,” she said. “It is resistance, it is incredibly frustrating. It’s a dysfunctional office.”
Cindy, have you considered the possibility that the problem is...YOU?  You weren't even sworn in and you conspired with Don Dixon to fire officials and then are left wondering why people don't trust you or your motivations.  As I recall, you tried to blame that on Dixon so at least you are consistent.

We deserve better from our elected officials.  Fortunately, the bulk of our Republican leadership are grown ups who understand that they can't go around threatening people.  When you wield political power, you have to be more careful with the words you use, who you talk to, and how you are perceived.  Some people call it being tactful.  This is a lesson that Cindy Carpenter desperately needs to learn if she is going to be successful going forward.