Recent upheaval in the Logan County Auditor’s Office is truly unfortunate.
My experience with Rob Storm was always cordial and professional. I found him to be a very open and forthcoming public servant and I wish him well.
That said, the nature of the accusations lodged against him warrant serious attention, and if even one of the specific incidents listed in the complaint actually occurred, the former auditor’s resignation was entirely warranted.
The question now becomes how best to move forward.
Logan County Commissioners appointed three-year employee Leann Taylor to serve in the interim, but the Logan County Republican Party will ultimately decide who fills the seat, at least through the Nov. 6 General Election.
Fact is, public support for basically all elected officials is floundering. Getting into public office is largely all about who you know and how much money you have. The game is rigged and we all know it.
Turmoil in the auditor’s office, especially when coupled with the ongoing dysfunction at Logan County Job and Family Services, only serves to reinforce all the negative stereotypes about government and the bureaucracy inherent to its function — whether it’s at the local, state or federal level.
The county Republican Party has an obligation to put petty politics aside and make a decision that’s in the best interest of the county.
Providing stability to the auditor’s office should be priority one for county Republicans and the best way to do that is to appoint a person with an intimate knowledge of the office and the experience of having run it previously.
Responsibility for maintaining the county’s finances is significant, under the best of circumstances. At this critical juncture, a proven professional is integral to repairing the damage caused as a result of this scandal.
Politics is a fickle business and common sense rarely if ever wins out. It’s entirely possible that emotion, pride and ego, absent any fact, will dictate the selection of Mr. Storm’s successor in the immediate-term.
Such bureaucratic back-scratching is quite predictable and that is why, per Ohio election law, voters will have the final say in which candidate will ultimately fill the balance of Mr. Storm’s term, which expires in March 2014.
In the meantime, county Republicans can go a long way toward restoring the public’s faith in the political system by standing in unison and acting in the best interest of the county, not in the best interest of their image or political standing.
Nate Smith is an Examiner Staff Writer and advocate of the common good. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.