The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that newly elected Stark County commissioner Dr. Peter Ferguson was "against" the merger of the Stark County Sanitary Engineer with the Stark County Engineer before being "for" the merger.
Public officials change their minds on issues everyday in Stark County and across the nation. Whether its a "road to Damacus" experience or a slower process, citizens want their elected officials to be "open minded."
So why would The Report even raise the point?
One gnawing little fact.
The imminent hiring of Ferguson's brother-in-law as Project Compliance Officer on Ohio's prevailing wage law in the office of the Stark County engineer.
To be fair to Ferguson, this merger was going to take place whether or not he voted for him. Commissioners Todd Bosley and Tom Harmon had let it be known that they were going to vote in favor of the merger - so - even if Ferguson voted no (as now retired county commissioner Jane Vignos had vowed to do), the merger was going to happen anyway.
But still, at the very least; shouldn't Ferguson at least abstained on the vote?
The Report acknowledges that the hiring of the relative could be totally unrelated to Ferguson's change of heart. Someone could have persuaded Ferguson that on the merits alone he needed to vote for the merger. Or, he could have had a "road to Damacus" experience.
These are public jobs that should be open to every Stark County citizen to apply for. County engineer Mike Rehfus has told The Report that he looked no further than the Ferguson relative once Ferguson let it be known that his brother-in-law was interested and he, Ferguson, recommended him highly.
What do you think?
Does this whole situation pass the smell test?