More favoritism for public employees

DEAR EDITOR:

The case of Trumbull County 911 Director Ernest Cook is especially infuriating. He is accused of drunken driving, hitting a kid and leaving the scene in Brookfield last July — almost a year ago. I believe there has been no end to the investigation yet because he’s a public employee in county government. How a “special prosecutor” assigned to the case by the Ohio attorney general could still be investigating is beyond me.

If this were a private citizen rather than a longtime county government employee, he would have been arrested, taken to the county jail, fingerprinted, charged and jailed immediately. Instead, he has spent no time in jail, kept his county job and we still are awaiting resolution of his case nine months later. Unbelievable.

This is a textbook example of what’s wrong with the Mahoning Valley and why we’re still far behind most of the country economically.

If you are a government employee in this area, you can get away with things that would put unconnected citizens behind bars quickly. In the meantime, those with money to invest in potentially job-creating businesses don’t want to come here because (1) they know they’ll have to run the gauntlet of government corruption and cronyism in order to get things done; (2) favoritism toward government employees — many of whom got their jobs because they had an inside connection beforehand — means that the playing field is tilted in favor of insiders; and (3) radical unionism, including among local government employees, creates a hostile environment that job-creating investors who might have located here don’t want to deal with.

To turn things around for the better in the Mahoning Valley, we, the people, need to elect officeholders who reject the same old cronyism and demand reform, having the courage to stand up to the entrenched forces that oppose it. One sure way to start this process is to elect a lot more Republicans so insider Democrats can’t take your votes for granted anymore.

JAMES A. DUNLAP

Mineral Ridge

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