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Jay Greeson

We are witnessing the grassroots rationale for the Donald Trump phenomenon.

OK, let's backtrack a moment.

The primary reason that Donald Trump — real estate magnate, reality TV goofball, spray-tanned billionaire — has become a real option for the top office in the free world is because America as a whole is exhausted with the majority of folks holding public office.

(Before you load my email, Hillary is no better. This is like picking between a Pinto and a Gremlin to race the Daytona 500. Alas.)

As for the movement, the electorate is tired. We are frustrated. And those feelings cut across all ethnic groups and demographics.

It's become clear that too many of our elected officials have become the problem rather than working to solve the problem.

It's the undercurrent that likely will touch almost every election in the coming months, perhaps years.

And to that we say, "Hallelujah."

Amen and pass the Constitution. Either get to work and make this better or get to the side and go back to selling insurance or practicing law or counting your money.

Locally, some members of the Hamilton County Commission are trying to weasel their way through the back door for a collection of back paychecks and raises from your and my taxpayer-funded dollars because of a random loophole in a state statute.

No one will own this movement, mind you. No, this is the effort of breakroom whispers and signed letters in the hall.

Thankfully some of the former county commissioners — and some of the current ones, too — have said they will refuse any back pay under this political shell game.

Current county Mayor Jim Coppinger has told this paper he would decline any back pay from his days as a county commissioner. So have Larry Henry and a few others.

Guys and gals, if you are in the commissioner business for the check, you are in it for the wrong reasons. And every single one of you who accepts the back pay, well, it will become a huge topic when you run for re-election.

If you want a part-time job, look in the Times Free Press classifieds or call a temp service.

This is a terrible look for a group that truthfully doesn't deserve a pay raise. Not when wages in most segments of the working world are flatlining.

This should be a really interesting ethical debate for those who have served in the seats of the County Commission.

Do you take the money (an understandable position, considering there are not many of us who would turn it down)?

Do you believe you deserve the extra money, if only because of some loophole that has not been closed properly?

For the current members, is your role a job or a service? Does it make a difference?

Here's a thought: We'll follow those folks who lead by example. Those folks who recognize that just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Those folks — current and former — know public service is about the service and not the compensation.

As commissioners start to raid bond money for paint-striping machines and start to look around for back pay, well, come the next election we'll have to ask who was part of the solution and who was part of the problem.

And those taking the back pay and looking for the quick buck, well, you know in which category you fall.

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343. His "Right to the Point" column runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on A2.