Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews has proposed rotating the chairmanship of the meetings they hold every two weeks. He would chair every third meeting, and Democrat Joe Hoeffel and Republican Bruce Castor would also chair every third one. Matthews says he is responding to complaints about bickering between him and Castor, and he can hear people complaining about this too.
“Do you believe Matthews? He’s giving Hoeffel, a Democrat, one third of the meetings to chair. How can he do that? What kind of a Republican is he? I think making it even is logical, and it projects a good image of our government.”
He says the image has been tarnished at times.
“I think it will suppress the juvenile aspects of argumentation that we have gotten into in the past. It’s a maturation process, and I think there’ll be more dignity and more circumspection in that instance.”
And he wants to end the ill will that caused Castor to hang his commission in a bathroom.
“That’s how proud he was of it. He hung it over his toilet, he said, in his private bathroom, so maybe the commission comes off the toilet wall and out into the regular office now because he’ll have more substance and more opportunity to express himself.”
He says some people won’t like the new arrangement, but that’s OK.
“You don’t please all of the people all of the time. We know that, but at least we have something visually pleasing in seeing the three of us rotate, bearing ourselves as real good Montgomery County executives.”
Matthews says rotating the chairmanship will not necessarily end the political rivalry between him and Castor, but it will take it off the public stage. He says both Castor and Hoeffel are capable executives, and giving them the gavel will season and mature them.