Audacious Al: Take 2
Reading today's paper about the latest county debate is enough to make everyone
believe that we all really have woken up in the asylum or the other side of Oz
Three days ago, Commissioner Al Ambrosini initially objected to having an
advertised public monthly work group of commissioners, but did grow more
red-faced by each passing minute before compromising, by providing a landmark,
stunning, stellar performance second to Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink's
motion, to hold the county commissioners advertised work group meetings, on
the same time and day as Ambrosini's jail ad hoc committee meets to
accommodate all schedules.
Though it was a shock, it was a pleasant shock, a happy one, a downright proud
moment in Fayette politics. In that moment or three in the state of pleasant
shock, it was easier to imagine that, perhaps, economical development might
actually be possible, too -- i.e., some corporations previously hesitant to move
here behind a veil of secrecy (as those veils over back room meetings generally do
imply that kickbacks of sorts go hand in hand with those kinds of corrupt,
veiled-over governments whose palms need greased) might change their minds.
If it weren't for the armed guards at the meeting, some in attendance may have
even broken out into a dance of glee or stepped forward to shake his hand.
Now three days later, we read, disappointingly, that things again have run amok
in Ambrosini's mind.
Why for the love of our collective sanity are we cursed with this board of
commissioners, besides the fact that we must deserve them because we elected
them into office?
At Tuesday's meeting, Ambrosini said, "We're in the throes of development," and
specifically listed targeted work that his jail ad hoc committee has yet to do.
He mentioned that there needed to be discussion of jail training issues and
development of job descriptions. At that time, Zimmerlink responded that she
"totally agreed with" him that there is much work to do, but said that it was the
commissioners' jobs to take the lead from there on out.
She motioned for the commissioners to meet in advertised work group meetings
because the jail ad hoc committee "doesn't have the authority" to act as
Three days ago, the majority commissioners seemed to verbalize an
understanding of reality and what was going on with the unanimous vote that
followed. Commissioner Vince Zapotosky, just Tuesday, three days ago,
verbalized his approval, even asked for a "structured agenda for work sessions."
Zapotosky also even remarked that the advertised meetings would be "a great
way of showing the public... where we're going."
Was all that voting under duress? Or did Ambrosini have other reasons for
wanting to keep on risking breaking the law?
Once again in Fayette, the meeting motions are made, seconded and passed in
public but get changed after a meeting. One signs off, a second signs off and,
poof, it's changed, revised, out of the public meeting. How open is that?
Three days ago, Zimmerlink commented on the majority's practice of going after
public meetings to the commissioners' conference room to change wording of
resolutions passed in public.
Is there a serious problem that motions, resolutions and specific wording of
motions might be too demanding a cognitive task to expect these commissioners
to perform on the spot, under pressure, in a public meeting?
And then there are the orphan motions made in public meetings that too often get
overlooked or forgotten about for vote when commissioners get overwhelmed in
Can anyone else on the board of commissioners verbalize an understanding in the
real world of the words lawsuit or surcharge?
Please, someone, wake us all up and tell us it's only a hellish nightmare and not
even scarier evidence to notion that Ambrosini's full, big tent circus has put up
tent and is here to stay at least through 2013.
Why can't he separate the concepts that (a) the functional input of the county jail
work group is valued and appreciated, and (b) that the county's behind is covered
if those are advertised meetings in which three commissioners work and receive
input from those people who gathered as the jail ad hoc committee for the past
Who really thinks that a quorum of commissioners -- or, more specifically,
anyone but Zimmerlink -- will make themselves available for a county work group
meeting immediately following a meeting of Ambrosini's volunteer and paid
She's right again, gentlemen. The three commissioners need to be in advertised
meetings with the public and group to date known as the jail ad hoc work group.
Another problem that Ambrosini now creates is additional time and money
wasted by paying county workers to attend two back to back meetings. Why?
Because he is stubborn and doesn't want to live up to his publicly-given word to
advertise and have 3 commissioners and the public (which last we checked can
mean employees, other elected officials and media) present.
The fair board guys going independent was something, yes! But with a few in
Ambrosini's larger group, he's giving volunteers and county-paid people
permission or directing them to perform tasks which, clearly, they are not
qualified to do or authorized to do by any county or state code law.
And now, sadly, status quo continues and the county lost that shred of credibility
which we had for such a brief moment or three following the unanimous vote to
let in the Sunshine.
Ambrosini said three days ago that his jail ad hoc committee still has a lot of
work to do. Past RTK answers received showed almost no group reports were
completed in its first 8-9 months of existence. I will hold him to that thought and
see how productive his group is, when future RTK requests are made for his
group work reports.
Until those meetings happen and those reports come in, it's hard to get beyond
any low opinion that his grand standing on the issue now is nothing more than a
ploy to keep out the minority commissioner from his unadvertised jail ad hoc
committee meetings. Why? To re-write and re-classify job descriptions to a higher
level for some administrators and employees?
I so hope and pray that he proves me wrong. That kind of transparency, we don't
18 Oct 13