Published 10:46 am Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It has not taken new City Commissioner Robert Roach long to establish himself as an outspoken member of the body. There is nothing wrong with that.
Politicians lead, govern and represent their constituents in many different ways. Some constantly express their views, while others are more content to sit quietly and contemplate, saying little.
Roach has been by far the most vocal of the five commissioners in the few meetings since they took office, perhaps in an effort to emerge as a leader of the group, perhaps because he feels compelled to express his views.
At a City Commission meeting Friday, Roach stated he was against re-establishing a local human rights commission because he is not in favor of expanded rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, commonly called LGBT.
Roach was quoted as saying the issue comes down to whether or not you believe it to be moral. He went on to say his opposition was based on divine revelation, natural law, and millennia of customs.
Whether or not the city re-establishes a human rights commission, Roach needs to understand there must not be discrimination in the hiring and managing of government employees all government employees. Those hired by the city must be judged on their work performance, not their sexual preference or someone elses judgment of their morals.
Roach is the former headmaster of The Frankfort Christian Academy, so it is not hard to imagine the slant of his personal views on such matters.
Roach doubtlessly gets a certain amount of his spunk from his father, Bob Roach, one of the most gifted teachers (now retired) ever on a high school staff in the Franklin County school system himself a former commissioner and Franklin County judge-executive.
One of the hardest things for any politician to do is remember that his views may not always align with those of his constituents. Everyone, whether an elected official or not, has personal convictions. But politicians are expected to consider the big picture at all times.
Consider that after being elected, a politician is not only in office to represent the views of those who voted for him but also those who voted against him, and perhaps more importantly, those who did not vote at all.
Elected officials also represent those not yet old enough to vote, those who have lost their right to vote and those who choose not to even register to vote.
In addition, Commissioner Tommy Haynes said he didnt want to rush into re-creating a human rights commission because the former one rarely met and eventually faded away.
Guess whose job it is to make sure all boards and commissions not only meet, but that they perform the duties they are charged with?
Commissioners should remember they are elected to lead, not to impose their morals or personal judgments on others.