The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Opinion

February 23, 2014

OUR VIEW: County commissioner’s role requires full-time commitment

- — Try this at work: Tell your boss you aren’t going to show up during the day because you have another job; you’re going to skip meetings, but you’ll check your e-mails often and catch up on some work on evenings and weekends.

Still you expect to be paid your full salary and collect complete benefits.

Guess what: You won’t be employed for long.

Wait, correct that. You won’t be employed for long unless you are an elected official and then you can do whatever you want.

We complain about our national elected officials for the poor job they are doing on our behalf. And there are some at the state level who shirk their duties.

But we have come to expect a lot more out of our local officials. Unfortunately, the taxpayers aren’t getting what they pay for from Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader.

We use the term “Mercer County Commissioner” loosely, because that would indicate he is properly representing the people of Mercer County.

That obviously isn’t the case as made clear at Wednesday’s work session when Commissioner Matt McConnell – who does show up for work – lambasted Beader’s work ethic for taking another job in Pittsburgh and not appearing in the county office daily or attending various meetings as he should be.

Beader, in his third term, barely won election last year. And it now appears the voters made a serious mistake in returning him to office.

Beader was arrested in Hermitage last summer for DUI in the early morning hours after the Small Ships Revue in Sharon. Some people were crying for his resignation at that time.

That didn’t happen.

After all, if you resign a job, you no longer come to work and aren’t paid. So instead, he didn’t resign. But according to reports, he still doesn’t show up for work much of the time, and still gets paid.

Nice gig if you can get it.

If that’s the case, Beader is pretty much stealing from the taxpayers. Commissioners are paid $63,845 a year plus another $23,000 in benefits. He’s not earning that kind of money, but once you are elected for four years to that position there is no mandate about how many hours you work.

And in Pennsylvania, there is no recall method for voters to boot an underachieving official out of office.

Luckily, most county officials in the past have had enough moral principles to at least try and do the job required by the position they are elected to fill.

Beader admits he hasn’t been on the job as much as he should be. But he said it is only a temporary situation.

It should definitely be a temporary situation. If Beader has any ethics, he should resign his job as Mercer County commissioner immediately.

The people of Mercer County deserve someone who will properly serve in that office. Beader, as it stands today, is not that person.

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