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Aleshire should have cast no vote instead of 'no' vote

August 09, 2010|By TIM ROWLAND

I'll be honest, when I saw the headline I wondered if maybe I was being set up.

"Aleshire votes against wife's appointment." From my perspective, too good to be true. A little TOO too good to be true.

A county commissioner votes against his wife? Is the only commissioner of the five to vote against his wife? Has no visible frying pan marks on his dome when he shows up for work the next day?

Color me suspicious.

Usually, just about the time I start to sink my teeth into one of these stories it turns out to be a prank or an April Fool's joke, or something like that.

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Remember the dude about 10 years ago who was arrested while wearing nylons and Hello Kitty press-on nails? Bingo.

But two days later, this story seems to be legitimate -- Commissioner Kristin Aleshire voted against his wife Tenneille's nomination to some do-gooder agency's board of directors.

As always, K. Aleshire has an explanation, and as always it makes your fingernails hurt to listen to it.

Not that he gets too wrapped up in minutiae, but Aleshire would have bottled up the Declaration of Independence for a decade if he thought "self-evident" didn't take a hyphen.

So here's the deal, as best I can understand it. (Sound of me taking a deep breath). The board of the agency in question has 21 voting members, with 12 seats to be held by people representing various and sundry agencies, while the rest are to be held by regular joes, and seeing as how the open seats on the board in question were for community at-large representatives, K. contended that T., who holds a job at another agency that is somehow related to the first agency, is technically ineligible for a private citizen seat, but instead should only be able to hold one of the agency's agency seats.

I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.

But meantime, hold the phone. Did someone say 21 board members? Twenty-one? Where do they meet, at the North High auditorium? If you already got that many members, I might be tempted to add eight more so every year you could re-enact the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Well, never mind, the larger question is whether, instead of voting against T. Aleshire, K. Aleshire should have done what everyone else in the known universe would have done and simply abstained. He's got the perfect out; it's his wife. No one would have raised an eyebrow.

The agency gets its board members so it's happy, the other commissioners pass the nominations so they're happy. T. Aleshire gets the position, so presumable she's happy, and K. Aleshire doesn't have to sleep on the couch.

But, of course, anyone who has followed his career knows that this is way, waaay too easy for K. To him, no issue is so simple that it can't be rendered as impenetrable as a Bolivian rain forest.

On one hand, you appreciate this to-the-letter and by-the-book attention to detail. But on the other, it makes you want to pull your own head off. All I know is that I'd hate to get behind him in the cereal aisle, as he considers all the angles of toasted bran.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com., on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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