Dooley’s presence scarce at County Council meetings

Originally Published: 3/2/2010

By Mike Anthony
Executive Editor
news1@callnewspapers.com

Mike Anthony

Where’s Charlie?
Regular attendees of County Council meetings may be asking themselves that question as County Executive Charlie Dooley’s presence has been scarce the past year or so.
In fact, county records indicate he has failed to attend 12 County Council meetings since missing the Dec. 22, 2008, meeting.
During 2009, County Executive Dooley missed a total of nine County Council meetings — on Jan. 20, March 10, April 28, May 5, July 21, Oct. 20, Dec. 1, Dec. 15 and Dec. 29.
So far this year, the county executive has failed to attend two meetings — Jan. 5 and Feb. 16.
Well, some might say, so what’s the big deal? While we’re certainly not attorneys here at the Call, we believe the County Charter requires the county executive to attend County Council meetings.
In fact, Section 3.050 of the County Charter states, in part, “… (T)he county executive shall … attend regular meetings of the council and participate in its discussions without vote, and attend such other meetings as the council may require …’’
As we see it, the other problem is County Executive Dooley is being extremely well paid to perform his official duties. Last time we checked, the county executive is receiving an annual salary of $140,000. That’s a nice chunk of change for anyone.
It’s certainly no secret County Executive Dooley wants to be re-elected.
He’s been campaigning for months, long before filing officially opened last week.
With his stance on trash districts, the county executive hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself with south county voters. While south county residents weren’t able to vote on the county’s trash-district program, they certainly will be able to vote in the November election on who will sit in the county executive’s seat on Jan. 1, 2011.
As we’ve said before, we believe the incumbent county executive is a shoo-in to win the Democratic nomination in August. But all bets are off after that as Bill Corrigan, a partner at Armstrong Teasdale, has filed to run as a Republican against County Executive Dooley.
Given the challenger he likely will face in November, we suggest County Executive Dooley stop playing hooky from County Council meetings.
It’s our firm belief that he needs to start performing all of the duties of the job to which he was elected because south county voters won’t be absent from the polls on Election Day.