Editorial

Gibson shouldn’t resign

letters@thetribunenews.comDecember 6, 2012 

If some voters wish to oust the supervisor for his affair or for his politics, they should try to do so next time he’s up for election

Supervisor Bruce Gibson showed extremely poor judgment when he engaged in a prolonged extramarital affair with his legislative assistant, but a detailed investigation by the County Counsel’s Office shows that he violated no county rules.

That being the case, we do not believe Gibson should be coerced into resigning by a small group of individuals, including some who appear to be at least partly motivated by their distaste for Gibson’s politics and voting record.

Certainly, if voters believe Gibson’s actions make him unfit for office, they’ll have the opportunity to speak their minds in the next election — provided Gibson chooses to run again.

For the time being, though, we believe it’s more constructive to learn from the situation and take action to prevent it from happening again, rather than spend each and every week publicly pillorying Gibson.

As we’ve said before, the county should adopt some clear-cut rules that prohibit management employees from directly supervising anyone with whom they’re romantically involved.

Should a romantic relationship develop — as it did in this case — managers should be required to immediately disclose that to human resources, so that employees can be transferred as quickly as possible.

Other agencies have such rules on the books, and it’s past time that our county did as well.

It’s disappointing that the Board of Supervisors has been publicly silent about the need for this common-sense policy.

Supervisors may be reluctant to be drawn into discussion about a colleague’s behavior, but that shouldn’t prevent them from publicly calling for an immediate review and revision of county policies on office romances. We urge them to do so; the county needs to send a clear message that this behavior is inappropriate and won’t be tolerated in the future.

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