Warren County commissioners are elected to represent the residents of the county. They, by their on desire, sought one of 24 seats currently on the commission. Each pursued the general public’s support to obtain the necessary votes to be elected.
That was a subtle reminder for all commissioners. During Tuesday night’s monthly session of Warren County’s Legislative Body, three commissioners refused to vote on items of business:
• Commissioner Robert Hennessee passed on a resolution to designate Warren County as a Second Amendment sanctuary.
• Commissioner Deborah Evans passed on a resolution to change the policy at Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center by adding a $10 surrender fee on animals and a $500 fine for people who dump them.
• Commissioner Scott Rubley passed on a resolution to rename the county’s Corrections Partnership Committee to Criminal Justice Committee and bolster its role in government.
While all three of those pieces of legislation were controversial in their own way, leading the pack on the potential to spark backlash from the community was naming Warren County a Second Amendment sanctuary.
The only authority that piece of legislation held was the power to put targets on the backs of anyone who didn’t vote in favor. I stated that to Rubley weeks ago. I was right. A Facebook post shortly after the vote called Commissioners Carlene Brown, David Dunlap and Evans “the commissioners that were against your Second Amendment and your right to bear arms.” Hennessee was labeled “the one who passed on the opportunity to vote for or against your Second Amendment and right to bear arms.”
All four commissioners, the post stated, “didn’t stand up for our rights to defend our families by supporting the Second Amendment” and all should be voted out of office.
It is important to note that both Hennessee and Brown voiced their support for the Constitution and its Second Amendment. Given that fact, some might consider the online statements libelous. Libel, a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation, and published “with fault,” meaning as a result of negligence or malice.
Some people get these confused: Libel is a written defamation; slander is a spoken defamation.
I do understand the controversial nature of these measures and the desire to distance oneself. However, commissioners wanted to represent the people. They lobbied for that right and it was given. A commissioner who refused to cast a vote is refusing to do what he or she promised to do: represent their constituents in local government.
Commissioners promised to represent their constituents. I expect them to do it, no matter how controversial the measure. A pass vote is unacceptable. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be allowed.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.