Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's behind Jones' resignation from ASC board?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 2:35 PM

As the late Buck Owens sang, my heart skipped a beat yesterday, but not because a woman was walking down the street. It happened when I read the first three words of an Observer headline: “Harry Jones resigns,” and I got all excited; a split second later, though, I read “from ASC board,” and the thrill was gone. Still, the rest of the story awaited. It turns out that County Manager Jones, the proud recent recipient of Creative Loafing’s “Worst Member of Local Government” award, is leaving the Arts and Science Council board because there’s a conflict between his job and the ASC position. You see, part of King Jones’ job is recommending how much money the county should give to nonprofit organizations such as the ASC — not to mention that he sometimes negotiates agreements and contracts with the council.

So the obvious question is this: Did Jones just now figure out that he had a conflict of interest? Really? Surely not. The way these kinds of things work, someone probably put a bug in the county commission’s ear about the situation, and pressure was then put on Jones to let the ASC gig go. Considering the public’s distaste for Jones’ shenanigans during the past couple of years, as well as the multiple calls for his resignation from the public and the media alike, he probably thought it was better to quit the ASC and lose part of his kingdom than risk his substantial meal ticket.

Jones, in case you haven’t heard, drew the community’s wrath when he accepted a $38K bonus soon after cutting county jobs and denying raises for the rest of his underlings. Tack on Jones’ slow-on-the-uptake response to the DSS scandal, his attempt to silence a critic by forwarding the critic’s e-mail to the man’s corporate boss, and the management skills that led Jones to wait until nearly the last minute to tell CMS, Parks & Rec, and the Public Library that they needed to gut their budgets, and — well, you get an idea why he’s not going to win any local popularity contests.

The story of Jones’ resignation was covered in both the Observer and the Business Journal, but neither publication bothered to find out an important bit of information: how long has Jones been doling out county money to the ASC while serving on its board? We’ll find out and get back to you later, unless one of the papers that broke the story get around to finishing the job.

King Harry gives up a piece of his kingdom
  • King Harry gives up a piece of his kingdom

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