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It is a question of degree.. Who has the more authority within the current moment. A brand new administrator elected by the choice of the people over his predecessor, or…. a plan put in place and carried out by a previous administration.
Bottom line. There are no rules here. Depending on which side you seem to be on… will affect your outlook. The decision is both right and wrong for either side, depending upon which criteria one will use to decide.
Examine the first.
An Administrator is elected. He comes in and takes over his office. One of the planks he ran on was to reverse a certain act of his predecessor. When the people had a choice of electing a person who was for the proposal in question, and one who was against it, they overwhelmingly went for the one who was against it….
Now the second.
An Administrator inherits a problem from his predecessor. He applies considerable effort to get a deal made and moved forward. It goes through all proper channels. It is legalized by a vote on Council. It is the Council and thereby the County’s official policy. A schedule has been drawn up. Funding approved. It is in effect, in the middle of being completed…. Since it was set in stone before the new administrator comes in, he has no right to interfere…..
Can a chief executive overrule a previous Council’s decision? Well. Romney certainly was going to with Obamacare.
Congress had passed it, the Supreme Court had legitimized it, and Romney was going to make it obsolete with the stroke of a pen, based solely on the argument that it was the wish of a mandate of the voters putting him into office.
If it would work for the president, it must also be effective and allowed, under the new New Castle County Chief Executive.
It therefore, is not only legal, but ethical, contrary to the opinion of one certain Danberg who resigned in protest as county attorney on Wednesday.
A leadership role demands that a leader leads. For a leader to have to swallow every poisoned pill his predecessor were to leave him, puts not only him, but his department and the province he oversees…. at risk. That would be harmful to all society, if something was locked in stone by every outgoing administration…. Were that the true will of the people of New Castle County, to have Barley Mill Plaza go forward, then Paul Clark would now be the executive, not Tom Gordan…
Either way the decision goes, someone gets hurt. If the decision is to go forward, then those residents around that area who are the victims of a fabricated traffic study, are doomed to suffer. If the decision is to be stayed, and reworked pending a new traffic study, then those who have invested into the plan, are the ones doomed to suffer.
So someone has to get hurt! The question is …. who?