Democracy in short supply


I was shocked when Oxford Country Commissioners Dave Duguay and Steve Merrill decided to change how the treasurer is selected in Oxford County.

On the strength of their two votes alone, they announced to the more than 56,000 residents of a land mass stretching more than 100 miles that the next county treasurer would be selected by appointment instead of by election.

I was even more shocked when they didn’t bother to provide an explanation, and though they insisted the decision wasn’t political, the Republicans appear to lack a candidate for the upcoming election.

Where were the public hearings on such a fundamental issue of country infrastructure? Where were the county’s stakeholders? Where was the democratic discussion and debate engaged in by Knox County when they considered this question?

Apparently, democracy is in short supply in Oxford County at present.

Representative government requires some connection between leaders and the people they represent and this action was lacking that. I can’t think of a better argument for the need to organize a Charter Commission for Oxford County; the sooner, the better.

As for Caldwell Jackson, the third commissioner, he abstained from voting.

Again, he gave no reason, but I assume he was embarrassed by his colleagues’ unilateral action. I certainly couldn’t blame him if he were.

Toni Seger, Lovell