Four years ago we elected Ron Cross to the position of chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. Both the messenger and his message appealed to us. What he and the other members of the Board have accomplished in the intervening years has justified the faith we put in him.
Now he is offering to continue in his position for another four years of what I like to call servant leadership. The litmus test, it seems, is whether he has always acted in the best interests of the county in accordance of our expectations of him. The answer is "Yes."
Inevitably he has stepped on a few toes. The only way he could avoid doing this is to do nothing at all. One citizen has accused Ron of having ulterior motives because of his informative newsletter included with our monthly water bills. Opponents of the smoking ban Ron supported now applaud its benefits. And there are other similar outcomes about what were initially seen as controversial matters.
One of Ron's traits I particularly admire is his belief that it is better to discuss a problem without solving it than to solve it without discussion. This is the case with the question of consolidation. He put the question on the table for discussion so we could acquaint ourselves with its pros and its cons. No action has been taken on this matter. But as economic and political realities change, we might have to take a second look at this question. If that ever happens we will be prepared. Ron was courageous in his proposal. ....
Another practice I want to applaud Ron and the Board for is their ability to manage the often conflicted and concurrent processes of change, growth and stability at the same time. This is no easy matter. Change always presents elements of uncertainty. Still, it cannot be ignored. We must anticipate and prepare for it. A lot of the changes faced by the Board during the past four years have been thrust upon us by forces beyond our control. The Board has reacted in a timely and responsible manner to these changes. Other proactive changes have been initiated by the Board, including libraries, parks, roads and many other quality-of-life matters.
Columbia County has been nationally recognized as a desirable place to live. This recognition did not come by chance. The various departments of county governance in cooperation with a responsible and responsive citizenry have worked together to make it happen.
We have a good thing going in Columbia County. Let's keep Ron Cross the leader of our efforts to make our county even better.
Russ Holloman, Ph.D., Evans
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