We support a bill introduced last week in the Senate that would restrict elected officials from holding a second job or a job appointed by the governor.
According to Sen. Mike Ross, D-Randolph, who, along with Sens. Leonard Anderson, D-Summers and Shirley Love, D-Fayette, sponsored the bill, it's a "relatively new" phenomenon.
"There are a bunch of folks out there holding two positions, and it's just not right," Ross said.
Two of Gov. Bob Wise's appointees, for example, are county commissioners. Northern constituent services coordinator Danny Greathouse is a Hancock County commissioner and southern coordinator Art Kirkendoll is a commissioner in Logan County.
In addition, a number of county commissioners have also served as local government representatives for the state treasurer's office.
The practice of elected officials holding gubernatorial posts may not be the crime of the century. But we have to wonder about the conflicts of interest that may arise from it, and whether holding two such positions means that neither one is getting the attention and focus it deserves.
In closing, we'd like to commend our own former county commissioner, Tom Keeley. After he was named State Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner, Keeley resigned from the commission. He did so even after Richard Alker, executive director of the state Ethics Commission, advised that Keeley could serve two posts if accommodations were made to permit him to perform his county duties without affecting his state ones.
We hope others follow his lead.