Supervisor asks Gilmer to step down, but provides no specifics for request

Published 9:27 am Friday, February 10, 2017

Mr. William Banks, in no uncertain terms, you and other members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors owe an apology to Port Commission president Margaret Gilmer.

Your statements during Monday’s board of supervisors meeting and then again in an interview with The Post, where you twice called for ousting Gilmer from the board, were inappropriate.

What made those comments — both in a public meeting and in an interview — wrong is that you had reportedly never addressed any concerns with Mrs. Gilmer in the past about her performance or her actions.

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You apparently had never felt it necessary to go to the source with any problems you might have had.

Instead, you took to a public setting to do so.

And, to make it worse, you declined to offer specifics on why you believe she should be removed from the commission. During the supervisors meeting you failed to give specifics and during the interview, when asked, you declined to do so.

While you, Mr. Banks, should lead the charge in the apology, others should join you.

Your fellow supervisors failed to back you off your calls for Gilmer to be removed. They in no way pressed you for details or asked you to retract your request.

Without details of any performance issues on the part of Mrs. Gilmer, you did nothing more than to impugn a person who, as far as we know, has a stellar reputation in the community and who serves on the port commission in a volunteer capacity. Economic development and business recruitment can be a cruel and combative world, where communities battle against one another for an upper hand over the other.

Our community cannot afford to have leaders, especially those in economic development roles, make unsubstantiated accusations against one another. Doing so weakens us in the recruitment of businesses, industries and jobs. The relationship between the port commission and the board of supervisors is far too important for poor communication, misunderstanding or hurt feelings to get in the way. Mr. Banks, and the other members of the board, you need to take the first step in fixing this and apologize.