If you have yet to read our article in today’s edition about the recent Jefferson County Election Commission meeting, please stop reading this right now and review it. Then come back.
We were angry when we first heard about what transpired at the meeting. And we still are.
First of all, Commission Chairman Mike Adam and Secretary Stuart “Stu” Soffer, both Republicans, are refusing to work with Election Coordinator Efrem Elliott, who was appointed by Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV, and who Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt ordered the commission to work with after a legal dust-up earlier this year.
Elliott and Wilkins are Democrats.
Adam and Soffer are now accusing Elliott of not performing duties assigned to him, with Elliott saying that he needs to be trained.
Soffer and Adam are doing just enough to avoid being in contempt of Wyatt’s order by throwing Elliott under the proverbial bus and accusing him of being derelict in his duties.
Adam refuses to train Elliott. Soffer is asking the county judge to hire another person as an election clerk and said at the Thursday commission meeting that he would train her to perform some of the duties that he and Adam say Elliott has failed to complete.
Our question to Soffer is this: Why will you not work with Mr. Elliott? You say you will work and train another person, but not Elliott.
The most disgraceful moment of the meeting came during a heated debate between Democratic Commissioner Cynthia Sims and Soffer, which left Sims retreating to the bathroom. Soffer obviously couldn’t help himself, saying to her, “Hope everything comes out okay.”
Sims ignored the comment, but we can’t.
Mr. Soffer, your words to Commissioner Sims are disgusting. And, in our view, you should take time now and offer a formal apology to her. We’ll even be glad to print it on this very page.
We wonder how Mr. Soffer would feel if someone treated a female member of his family with such vile disregard. Additionally, Sims described another encounter with Soffer during a previous meeting.
“I noticed you forgot to place something in the minutes,” Sims said to Soffer. “The last time we had our meeting you made a statement, and I felt like it was very disrespectful to me … I didn’t see it in these minutes. The statement that you made to me was that ‘You was tired of my s**t,’ remember? And (that) ‘I need to go somewhere.’ And no one said anything. I never disrespected you, and I feel like you were out of order.”
Soffer went on to say that he was worried about the state of the upcoming elections.
“We’re going to have a disaster in May if we don’t act now,” he said. “That’s my bottom line, and I hope I’m not being overly dramatic — I’m distressed.”
Mr. Soffer, all of this distress you feel has been brought upon this commission by you and your fellow commissioner Adam. It’s time to grow up and act like adults.
Work with Mr. Elliott, do your jobs, and focus on the elections of Jefferson County.