Konop vs. LCICWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
At the Nov. 2, 2006 Lucas County commissioner debate between Ben Konop and Toledo City Councilman George Sarantou, Konop was asked what I thought was a defining question. Could he, as a young person in his first elected role, stand up for his beliefs in an atmosphere with two seasoned and powerful commissioners, Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak?
Paraphrasing his answer, Konop said he absolutely could stand up and stand alone if he had to, but he looked forward to learning from and working with his fellow commissioners.
There is a lot to be said for what Konop has achieved in a relatively short time. In last week’s issue, he wrote a guest column, “A badge of honor,” that outlined several of his projects.
But a tone has crept into Konop’s public discourse that seems to take his stance from one of separatist to one of isolationist. It is Konop’s duty to disagree with proposals and projects he does not believe in. But increasingly, it appears as if the friction and disagreements have become fissures and fractures between the commissioners. Konop is to be respected for not being afraid to speak his mind, but it is in his, and therefore Lucas County’s, best interest to remain respectful and work with the people with whom he serves.
Konop’s stance that he should remain on the LCIC executive search committee as he publicly campaigns to kill the organization is particularly suspect. He maintains in an interview on page A7 this week that he is basically trying to keep the process honest, but his continued involvement raises questions of fairness and objectivity that may hamper the eventual choice.
Konop has accomplished a number of his goals in a short time; whether he continues to be effective may hinge on his ability to remain confident without being condescending.