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The Scoop - Is the grass greener with Wilcher as chair?
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Call it a mutiny, a hostile takeover, or a change of direction. County Executive Jimmy Haley was removed as chairman of the Warren County Commission on Monday night against his will.

Here are my thoughts about key points which have been emphasized over the past two months since the now-infamous, pro-wrestling-style County Commission meeting in July where a 28-cent tax increase was passed.

Haley needs to be removed because he can't control the County Commission: Perhaps Haley didn't excel in keeping county commissioners in line, but is that a bad reflection on him or on our commissioners?

I guess it depends on how you view our County Commission. Is it a group of upstanding citizens and community leaders? I'd like to think so.

Or is it a group of misfits who you have to watch at all times or they'll cause trouble?

It's a little sad our county executive had to worry about behavior issues during County Commission meetings. Instead of blaming Haley for this, we should blame the people who aren't minding their manners.

Maybe now that Blaine Wilcher is County Commission chair, he can maintain order by paddling unruly commissioners or having them stand in the corner if they misbehave.

The monthly County Commission meetings were way too long under Haley's direction: I've heard this said by a number of commissioners and even our very own county government reporter here at the Standard. 

If there's anything commissioners can all agree on, it's that they don't like meetings 2.5 hours long. And if I can chime in, I don't like meetings that long either.

But it leaves me wondering what the appropriate length is for one of these once-a-month meetings. I think everyone got a little complacent under the leadership of former County Executive Herschel Wells, who treated county meetings like a horse race. They couldn't end fast enough.

I attended one of his county meetings that lasted 20 minutes. It almost took me longer to park and walk in the building than the meeting lasted.

Rushing through county business like an auction doesn't seem the best way to move Warren County forward. But exhaustingly long county meetings are counterproductive. There should be middle ground.

The County Commission will be in better shape with a new leader: The big question is what does this achieve? Haley is out and Wilcher is in. Are we any better for it?

For starters, I think it's safe to say we won't have another 28-cent tax increase. The new members of the Budget and Finance Committee will ensure that, which is a good thing.

From my perspective, 28 cents was way too much and it got everyone running for shelter. It would have been much smarter to go with 10 cents and maybe come back with another 10-cent request in a few years, if needed.

As for avoiding hard feelings after this aggressive move, I think there will be a rocky road ahead. I have people who won't speak to me to this day because of something I wrote in a sports story over 20 years ago. Believing all county officials will be able to shrug this off and move on with no ill effects is not going to happen.

The moral of this story is the grass always appears greener on the other side of the hill. Warren County will get to see first hand if that's true in this case.