BCWA is not funny anymore

Published 5:06 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Every fourth Monday in Butler County the circus comes to Greenville. The Butler County Water Authority holds its monthly meeting. This circus doesn’t feature elephants. Or popcorn. Or peanuts. But it does feature clowns.

There is a wall of unwilling cooperation that exists among the six current sitting board members of this authority. There is tenseness. There is gruff and refused participation. Two board members sit on one side of the chairman. Three board members sit on the other side. The situation is almost funny. And if it wasn’t so pathetic, so pitiful, so much of an affront to the spirit of good civic duty, cooperation, and a willingness to put aside past differences and work together, it would be funny. But it’s not. The county’s water authority has become a joke. But it’s a joke that has run long past its punch line. A simple ‘knock-knock’ joke is funnier than the Butler County Water Authority.

The way the board meeting played out Monday exemplifies this: On the agenda was the election of new officers.

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Board members Charles Rodgers and Tommie Hamilton objected, arguing that since current Chairman Lamar “Cot” Giddens’ term expires in February then elections should be postponed until March when Jan Black replaces Giddens. Board members Daniel Driscoll, Thelma Mixon, and Joe McCraney disagreed. Hamilton motioned to postpone elections. Rogers seconded. Put to a vote the results fell along predictable lines and the motion failed.

The election that followed was even more comedic. Driscoll motioned McCraney for chairman, Mixon seconded. Hamilton nominated Rogers, no one seconded. McCraney was approved 3-2. The rest of the election fell as above.

Where this all began, we haven’t a clue. And we really could care less. The fact is this water authority is not operating for the betterment of Butler County. Really, we wonder how they’re operating at all, especially considering the animosity that exists on this board. We applaud Mr. Giddens service to the water authority and wish him the best for the future. We hope his exit and Mr. Black’s arrival on the board will bring about a change for the better.

Because if Butler County is indeed facing a possible water shortage in the future then this is one situation when the clowns have no business running the circus.