Anyone following local politics for the past few years has undoubtedly put together the obvious — Dennis Wilkinson and his sidekick John Lamoreau want to control the county. What they can't control, they do their best to harass and destroy.
Anyone who has experienced the scorched-earth tactics of these individuals can attest to the venom they put into play. Wilkinson, under a flimsy government watchdog banner, marches about declaring fraud, waste and conspiracy. Lamoreau marches about town declaring the county inept so that he can plan, with Mr. Wilkinson's continued assistance, another run at county commissioner.
Mr. Wilkinson most surely wants Lamoreau back in office to once again help him tear things up from the inside. They continually demonstrate to the world just how much and how far they are willing to go to dismantle anything that gets in their way.
It saddens me to report that this county, once considered one of the most dynamic leaders in the state, spends way too much of its time validating the political aspirations and whims of a couple of individuals.
It always surprises people when I tell them the Wilkinson/Lamoreau attacks on the county have not gone away. After multiple years of interrupted work schedules, ethics accusations, hundreds of time-consuming document requests, baseless accusations and insults aimed at elected officials and county employees, and demands for monthly reporting, they are still at it with a vengeance — and it most certainly is vengeance.
Lamoreau's loss in the race for county commissioner in 2006 only fanned his flames. Count on the fact that he will make another run. They continue to assemble documentation that they feel they can manipulate and continue to use to destroy people. The public saw what he was capable of doing to a decent, faithful public servant in the last election. He didn't successfully destroy his opponent. I suspect he will be nastier this time.
I am convinced that is not how public service is supposed to be conducted. It may have become the norm in the Washington, D.C., Beltway, but these are your neighbors being insulted, degraded and attacked, ladies and gentlemen.
I realized this year that my having to report my whereabouts to Mr. Wilkinson monthly made me very uncomfortable and it was affecting my participation on behalf of this county. Because of this, I did not attend many key meetings where Union County needed to have a voice.
I have spent most of my adult life working to further Union County. I have specifically worked hard at natural resources and economic development like there is no tomorrow, because of two very big reasons. I think that the two are one in the same for our region and I really feel that without an extreme effort on behalf of leadership there may be no tomorrow.
Despite the pressure that this nonsense has put on me, my family and the hard-working employees at the county, I can truthfully say this has been the hardest job I have ever had, but the one I have loved the most.
However, I find I really can't put myself or my family through this any more. Thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you so much for your past support and encouragement. I will not be seeking re-election as your county commissioner.
This is a very tough job that requires time and commitment far beyond what most people expect. Please make sure you don't lose the opportunity to have potentially valuable people step up to run for office for fear of destructive retribution.
Colleen MacLeod is a two-term Union County commissioner.