EDITORIAL : Arrogance on display at courthouse
It was an incredible moment, incredible in its honesty.
It occured during the discussion of deferring the re-appointment of board of review members Gary Shadid and Nancy Horton at last week’s Peoria County Board meeting.
County board chairman Tom O’Neill listened to a handful of county board members — both Democrat and Republican — talk about deferring the vote for one month.
He also listened to some citizens expressing dismay about the operation of the board of review.
There was talk of a board of review system that is not responsive and arrogant in how it treats those coming before its members.
Judging from O’Neill’s facial expressions, he was not patiently listening to people questioning his choices for the appointments.
Then came the moment.
“There’s not a whole lot going to change,” O’Neill said.
“We can put it off a month. But, that doesn’t mean I will bring up any new names.”
That was honest.
He added, later, “Put it off a month and it will be the same thing, we will listen to an endless time of speeches.”
That was brutally honest.
O’Neill should be commended for his honesty.
It is refreshing.
O’Neill’s honesty openly demonstrates the level of arrogance within certain circles of the Peoria County Board.
It is as if, with Blago’s departure from Springfield’s arena of political arrogance, the arrogance has found a new home in the Peoria County Courthouse.
O’Neill’s open display of political arrogance provides everyone a road map to tracing where, perhaps, all the recent arrogance from the county board springs.
In March, Peoria County Assistant State’s Attorney William Atkins, legal counsel for the Peoria County Board, put on a display of arrogance worthy of note.
Resident Tom Moore stood before the Peoria County Board in March to comment about the board of review without mentioning a single member by name.
But, the mere mention of the board of review set Atkins off.
Atkins tried to make Moore see the error of his ways by ridiculing him, wondering out loud if Moore understood what no personal derogatory comments meant.
Atkins came off as mean-spirited.
And, the fact that not a single board member came to Moore’s defense makes it appear the county board endorses Atkins’ actions.
It seems now we can trace such arrogance back to O’Neill.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for clarifying just where the recent spate of arrogance toward those who elected this body comes.
All we can hope, Mr. O’Neill, is that your arrogance is proven, with time, to actually be serving the people you are elected to represent.
Being right can make one arrogant.
Or, being smug can make one arrogant.
But, either way, arrogance can alienate the electorate. Remember, as the old American proverb states, “Arrogance is a kingdom without a crown.”