Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda is a perfect example. He is a perfect example of what's wrong with Trumbull County.
Fuda is smooth. I will give him that. I've seen him in action as the consummate politician - nicely dressed, the big toothy smile, glad handing, campaigning every place imaginable.
I've been told he is quite charming, but the charm is a veneer. The veneer is thin in some places, and if you look closely, you can see that Frank Fuda really is guardian of the status quo in Trumbull County government.
I got a glimpse of this about a year ago when I attended the public hearings on the court consolidation. I questioned the commissioners about the fact that they had delayed recommending the consolidation knowing there was a small window of opportunity to accomplish the consolidation.
I pointed out that they had been asked to consider the proposal back in October and waited until April to have public hearings. Mr. Fuda became quite angry and insisted that he found out in February, in spite of documentation to the contrary, that Judge Rice would not be seeking another term at Eastern District Court thereby opening a window for consolidation without displacing a sitting judge.
Aside from the fact that Central Court Judge Tom Campbell had relayed this information to the commissioners in his initial proposal for consolidation in October, Judge Rice had also filed petitions to run for Common Pleas Court in December 2011. When Mr. Fuda doesn't like the facts, I guess he creates his own.
Mr. Fuda's background is in education. I think sometimes that he forgets that we are citizens and thinks, instead, that we are children to be controlled. Those who attended the board of health hearing on the revocation of Berry Meadows' septic installer's license said they also got a front row seat to Mr. Fuda's real personality.
The hearing was held in the county administration building. When the hearing was abruptly halted, it became somewhat heated. Many people who were there told me that things were calming down when Mr. Fuda entered the room and shouted that he wouldn't have yelling in HIS building. Mr. Fuda apparently fails to realize that the building doesn't actually belong to him, but it does belong to the taxpayers who are his employers.
They told me that later a constituent tried to talk to him about the health board, commenting that although he didn't have governance over the board, he could have some influence on the members. He brushed her off, telling her to talk to his attorney.
One of the most disturbing things that I've heard any public official say is something attorney David Engler said Mr. Fuda told him. Engler wrote in his blog and told me personally that he was talking to Mr. Fuda about the inordinate number of murdered children in Trumbull County's foster care system. Mr. Fuda's response was ''these sorts of things happen to kids in children services.''
This quote portrays an acceptance of the status quo.
Mr. Fuda is a very good politician, but he is certainly not a very good public servant.
Yoder is a West Farmington resident. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org