Wednesday, October 13, 2010

High Point Enterprise and Greensboro News & Record on Steve Arnold

"OUR VIEW: It’s not the job for Steve Arnold

At first glance, this situation raises eyebrows. At second glance, it raises suspicions. Further review may raise blood pressures.

Longtime Guilford County Commissioner Steve Arnold of High Point, who is set to retire this December from the county board, says he is considering seeking a newly created administrative post in county government that would oversee real estate planning and development.

...Some in county government complaining about the situation are saying Arnold’s hiring for the job is a “done deal.”

...based on his decades of involvement in county government and the intense, divisive politics that have gone with it at times, Arnold also is very disqualified for the post. And then there’s the fact that Arnold was responsible for Fox first becoming county manager in the 1990s when Republicans controlled the board. He also was involved with her returning to the manager’s post a few years ago.

Surely, Arnold has the right to apply for the job, just as anyone does. But to avoid the appearance of any behind the scenes deals – which would fuel more “business as usual” talk – he should not."

High Point Enterprise
Editorial: Wrong man for the job

Steve Arnold should not become Guilford County’s answer to Mary Easley.

...The real issue is influence, not credentials. For the past two years, Arnold and Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston have run the county as a majority of two. They promoted Brenda Jones Fox to the county manager post. ...No doubt, Fox would have Alston’s enthusiastic approval...

...There’s no real need to put someone else on the county payroll to duplicate existing efforts.

...Alston says it’s gotten to the point where a property tax increase will be needed next year to balance the budget. He’s campaigning for a sales-tax hike now. Yet he supports the addition of a new director on the county’s administrative staff, at a six-figure salary? That makes no sense. This is exactly the sort of position that Alston and Arnold have eliminated in their budget-cutting.

...Even if this new director’s job is needed — and that’s a big if — there’s no money to pay for it, and a powerful commissioner is not the one to fill it.

If that happened, there would be every reason to believe the process was rigged.

Let’s not have a Mary Easley here.

Greensboro News & Record

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