Archived Story

Cass board should step back

Published 10:07am Thursday, July 25, 2013

One of the biggest mistakes a body such as the Cass County Board of Commissioners can commit is to stray from setting policy into micromanaging.

“There was no intent to have this result,” one commissioner said Friday.

Whether the polarized 4-3 board intended to separate itself from County Administrator Louis Csokasy, or merely bring communication concerns to a head, larding the July 18 agenda with an early evaluation, capping non-emergency expenditures at $5,000 instead of $10,000 and continuing to talk about not following his recommendation on the 1899 courthouse obviously solidified for him a loss of support.

He gave eight weeks notice the next morning.

It’s hard to pinpoint how long not seeing eye to eye has been simmering, but commissioners called a special meeting Wednesday evening which shed some light, since the majority tabled a health care coverage presentation which brought out an audience of employees, saying there was too much last-minute information to digest.

There were also three commissioners appointed to a vintage courthouse committee.

The board since May has spurned a comprehensive process by which to proceed.

The board didn’t accept it, but didn’t explicitly reject it, either, leaving it in limbo.

Csokasy and Building Authority Chairman Bill Saunders, the Silver Creek Township supervisor, both argued it would not be advisable for commissioners, who have the final say, to be part of a broad-based work group.

We’re wondering what the board has as a plan B after employing four administrators in as many years. Employees were crushed, some in tears, and others holding out hope that the other shoe might somehow not drop July 25.

Commissioners should step back and consider why they hire an administrator and appoint a Building Authority, then don’t trust or take full advantage of their insight.

We hope they can at least agree with Csokasy’s sentiment that they never lose sight of “what’s best for the county.”


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