"Good government should be about transparency, accountability and fair(ness)." - Richard Oden, Chairman of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners
A couple of weeks ago Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Oden publically chastised the head of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council Marty Jones. The chastisement was so far out of line on this public display of non-leadership that even his closest allies shuddered.
Two weeks ago in our Nov. 26 Wednesday digital newspaper we called Oden a political bully for his actions and suggested that he publically apologize to Jones and the CREDC board; as of yet, he has not.
Many local residents who weren't at that Nov. 18 public meeting looked to their public television station, Channel 23, for the broadcast of the budget hearing to catch up. The county's Community Affairs department typically does a good job in posting public county meetings within a short time after the meetings for residents who were unable to attend. The first three hours of the budget meeting were posted on the county's website and on the county's Vimeo channel, vimeo.com/Rockdale.
Surprise, surprise - for some strange reason the last two hours, where Oden's display of rudeness to Jones occurred, are missing from the county website. They are also missing from the Vimeo channel.
This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. A few years ago the station became the Richard Oden show and nothing appears on it that he doesn't approve of.
Only a small link on Vimeo connects to a separate website where viewers can find the missing footage. The Community Affairs director says the issue is file size; but one can see there have been longer meetings posted on the Vimeo channel before.
As a result of this footage that is missing from the county's main channels, we not only think that Chairman Oden is a political bully, but is lacking in courage for not owning up to his tirade.
The Chairman still owes Jones, the CREDC board and the community an apology.
If you did not see the chairman's loss of control, we are glad to bring it to you. You can see video of the exchange during the Nov. 18 budget hearing for yourself on our website, www.rockdalenews.com.
*Disclosure, The News publisher is a member of the CREDC board.