No easy way out
After several decades of observing the local political scene, it never fails to amaze me how governing boards can create controversy by trying to avoid controversy and take the easy way out.
Case in point: the John Bingham saga.
It's quite apparent that the McCook City Council was trying to avoid an uproar by keeping the fact that Bingham was being considered to fill the city manager's post a secret, a post he had just left.
Well, that worked well, didn't it?
It would have been much better, as it always is, to have been up front with the citizens of McCook and said "We have a third candidate we want to talk to -- former City Manager John Bingham."
Would all kinds of hell been raised? Judging from what has been going on, probably.
The council, using all its resources -- and that includes public input -- has the responsibility to decide what is in the best interest of the city.
Unfortunately, the citizens of McCook didn't have a chance to comment on Bingham's selection before the fact, as they did with the other candidates, and we can all see what the result of that has been, with talk of lawsuits, recalls, etc.
All because the council was too concerned with avoiding a fight. As the late President Harry Truman said, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen."
As for the Bingham-bashers who advocate doing away with the city manager form of government, isn't that like throwing the baby out with the bath water?"