The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 6, 2013

Working together

New make-up of county commission provides opportunity for cooperation

— On Tuesday the three members of the Raleigh County Commission are scheduled to vote on electing a president to represent the governmental body.

It is expected that Dave Tolliver will be the new president.

Late last week Tolliver told us that he and Commissioners Pat Reed and Linda Epling had met to discuss protocol and changes that are in the works.

Tolliver said the meeting was amicable and covered a lot of ground. He also said there will be “some announcements” coming during Tuesday’s meeting.

We will be interested to hear what is going to be said, and it is our fervent hope that all roads will lead to a better sense of communication and cooperation among this group of county leaders.

When Tolliver was elected in 2010, it provided a political party split on the panel and in many instances he felt like he was being overlooked and his opinion wasn’t being given proper consideration.

Several times Tolliver was admonished by former Commission President John Aliff for speaking his mind rather than letting Aliff speak for the commission as a group.

That bothered us then, and we hope it is a lesson learned for all three commissioners.

No one should be stifled, and what they have to say and where they stand on issues should be conveyed to the public as individuals. If they all three agree on matters and they want the president or another commissioner to speak on behalf of the group, then fine, but each and every one’s opinion is important — they are our ELECTED leaders.

Political partisanship is eroding our country’s ability to move forward. While we don’t need to remind our readers, just take a look at Washington, D.C., and you can see how it has negatively impacted America and continues to do so.

Until our leaders are willing to compromise and work together, we will keep falling behind the rest of the world, and it is happening.

Again, it is our hope that in Raleigh County our commissioners will grab this new opportunity to come together, cooperate and communicate for the betterment of our area.

The chance to lead by example is there.