As an observer and commentator on the political process, this newspaper never ceases to be amazed at the games people play and the motives they possess. For the most part we believe those elected to political office have motives that are noble and make decisions based on the belief that they are doing what is right and just for those who have elected them to govern.
The city of Covington’s probationary services debacle is an example of how the right outcome can sometimes bubble up to the surface despite the antics of those in charge.
Last month, a majority of the council voted to renew a contract with the existing probation services provider, despite the fact that it had not submitted a bid to be considered for the city contract. This week, the former provider, which seemed anxious to be awarded the contract in February, decided it didn’t want to do business with the city after all and rejected the offer.
We are not quite sure why the current provider turned down the city council’s gift of a contract extension at Monday night’s meeting, but whatever the reason we are pleased that we are starting with a clean slate.
Councilmen Chris Smith, Keith Dalton and Mike Whatley, with their two-week-old vote to ignore the entire bid process, exposed the city to potential legal peril, wasted a lot of peoples’ time and energy and ignored any pretense of sound governmental decision making.
Their motives for doing so are unknown to us, and we do not understand their rationale for favoring a process that was less than transparent and which had the potential for disgraceful motivation.
That elected officials were so willing to ignore the city’s own bid processes and verbally conduct contract negotiations from the floor of a council meeting shows a total lack of understanding of the bid process and its importance. That they were willing to do so in what was already a controversial situation filled with more than its share of sordid drama shows a dangerous disconnect from public credibility.
Those who voted to put these individuals into office need to remember these shenanigans, and really consider if this is the type of leadership that we deem as acceptable behavior the next time the each of the councilmen seek reelection. Our only hope is that in the time that transpires between now and election time these three stop casting misguided votes and begin conducting the people’s business in an honorable and noble manner.