St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner Skip Kernan is again busy making friends and influencing neighbors, still locked in a contest of wills with township trustees over whether 3.5 highway workers or five is the proper number.
Here’s a hint: There’s only a budget for 3.5.
Kernan professes to be a servant of the people and that five highway workers is what the people want. Then he sits in the audience for township meetings and refuses to publicly discuss trustees’ questions. He wants them to come to his office the next day.
That’s about as transparent as an oil and chip road.
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Kernan’s antics and patronizing demeanor would be fun political entertainment but for one thing: The snow is coming and there will be no money to pay township snowplow drivers by January.
Kernan has failed to list the projects and prove his need for five workers. He claims a right to five because the department once had that many, but trustees point out that contractors are doing a lot of the township road work.
This game is being played with taxpayers’ money, and Kernan is about to add legal costs as he fights for budget authority he doesn’t have. Come January his little game will be played with taxpayers’ safety on icy roads.
Conventional wisdom tells us that when there is so much rancor and political bodies come to loggerheads, the one certainty is that somebody is wrong. The guy trying to spend money that’s not in the budget is probably it.