CLINE: Give Nash a chance to do her job

It’s the truth of any election. Someone wins, someone loses. Lots of people complain.

The special election for chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners has been no different. There would have been some sort of outcry no matter which of the candidates won the election to fill the vacancy left after Charles Bannister resigned to avoid perjury charges from a specially called grand jury.

That Charlotte Nash is more of a known entity than those she defeated for the position of chairman makes that outcry louder. But it’s that same familiarity that led to the outcome in the first place.

After what seems an eternity without a chairman, Nash was sworn in Monday, officially taking over a position that was left vacant for the past six months. This was not a regular election, but one denoted as “special” because of the circumstances that led to it.

Those circumstances are why I’m a little surprised at some the vitriol directed at the former county administrator. I understand that criticism comes with the territory, that if you want to mix it up on the political playing field you need to be prepared to take your lumps — deserved or not.

I also understand that naysayers are generally louder than their counterparts. That those complaining can be a vocal minority and that as a rule more people offer criticisms than praise. But what I don’t get is the notion that Nash winning the election makes things business as usual for the county.

Look at how the last chairman’s tenure ended. It wasn’t good for anyone, least of which the county. So when Nash gives you permission “to hold me accountable,” you have to consider that some sort of fresh start, although some people don’t.

As a former county administrator, Nash brings a unique perspective to her new position. And with the tough times we’re facing, that perspective could prove a major asset. For the county’s sake, we should all hope so.

There’s another adage that rings true here — that the proof is in the pudding. Nash should be judged by her actions as chairwoman and by the success of her term in office.

To do that, you’ve got to at least let her get started.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/toddcline.