County commissioners

(L-R) Commissioners Charles Elders, Mickey Luker and Ron Mau.

New Commissioner Mickey Luker is bringing to local politics, shall we say, a special je ne sais quoi.

First, a wee bit of background. There’s a scheme afoot to consolidate local boards overseeing Social Services and the Health Department.

If realized, the majority-Republican commission board gains never-before-held (or sought) control over two critically important agencies.

Commissioners could load this new board with like-minded individuals. That’s power, baby, pure raw P-O-W-E-R.

I prefer my human services served up without the stink of politics, thank you very much.

During a Monday work session, Commissioner Boyce Deitz, a Democrat, demanded to know: What’s wrong with the current system? (This would be the one where commissioners allow qualified individuals to oversee the agencies.)

Republican Commissioner Ron Mau mentioned possible efficiencies. I think he meant it.

Commissioner Charles Elders, a Republican, said something confusing about a “one-stop shop” for developers who want building permits. Elders’ muddling came because, in actuality, the one-stop plan dovetails with this consolidation scheme, within the Health Department, which issues septic and well permits.

Some local real-estate agents and builders want inspectors to more readily accommodate developer wishes … including Luker, who last year accused local officials of chicanery for denying him a permit.

Luker, a Democrat until just about, oh, yesterday, looked Deitz straight in the eye. He served up a dish of justification that strains credulity. He said that “multiple people in the community” have personally requested the consolidation of the two boards.

Deitz pressed on. What does “many people” mean? Luker said “more than even 50.”

Really? That many people came to Luker to say, “Let’s combine these two government-agency boards?”


You’d be hard pressed to find 50 locals who know the two boards exist, much less begged Luker for board consolidation.

Quintin Ellison is the editor of the Herald.