If the size of a man’s ego reflected the depth of his character, County Commissioner David Richard might be the type of civic leader that he clearly envisions himself to be. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
If Richard were the man he perceives himself to be, we would be endorsing his re-election campaign. Unfortunately he isn’t, and we certainly aren’t.
Richard sees himself as a great visionary whose political acumen and governmental knowledge are far superior to all others in elective office in the county. Sadly, any good ideas he has for governance of the county are lost amid his bullying tactics and abrasive personality.
Richard sees himself as an accomplished linguist and an eloquent wordsmith. Yet his infatuation with barbed insults and belittling personal criticisms makes it impossible for any reasonable message he might offer to be heard.
Richard sees himself as an exemplary public servant, yet has so alienated all those with whom he shares the mantle of public office that he can build no alliances to accomplish any goal.
His open contempt for fellow commissioners, city officials and the county’s school system make it impossible for him to work together with others in any sort of positive alliance for leading the county into the future.
If he thinks that isn’t the case, then he is deluding only himself.
Richard sees himself as a man of principled convictions, but the principle to which he adheres most often is that which says that all of those who disagree with the commissioner from District 4 are hopelessly ignorant and deserving only of ridicule.
One need look no farther than Richard’s personal Web site to understand why the county has in the past had trouble recruiting top level government officials. Who in their right mind would want to come to work for such a boss?
This county has had more than its share of “characters” elected to its top governing board, but most have been relatively harmless in their idiosyncrasies. Richard is not. His open disdain for the opinions of others and lack of respect for the office he holds create the potential for embarrassing the county every time he represents us at the state and national level.
It is very possible that Commissioner Richard will win re-election, perhaps probable given his status as an incumbent. That said, it is long past time that someone stood up to the bully and said “enough is enough.” If he wins, the county will grow and prosper in spite of his re-election, not because of it.
This newspaper has not in recent years endorsed candidates for elective office, nor do we plan to do so during this election cycle. We do, however, encourage all county residents to look closely at the options on both the Republican and Demo-cratic ballots before casting a vote for the incumbent in District 4.
It is time for the embarrassment to come to an end.