Surely, we must do better in our discernment of ethical issues than what has been demonstrated in a front page story published Oct. 5 in all three Columbiana County newspapers. The article uses very strong language and is completely misdirected.
The first question to be asked is, "Has John Payne demonstrated unethical behavior in the past?" He is no newcomer to the business, social, educational or political communities of Columbiana County. John served as mayor in East Liverpool, administrator of the Ohio Valley Business College and director of the Elections Board for the County. That is a lot of exposure. Has he been unethical in the past?
Instead of answering that question, the newspapers proceeded with publishing what amounts to character assassination by accusation.
We are presented with John's Ph.D. from Northwestern International University and are told that the price of his degree is negligible and the university lacks credibility. Inference is made that John is unqualified to serve us as an intellectual and that John's purpose in obtaining the degree was to deceive us. How could this be printed or assumed based on what we know to be John's character?
Apparently, the Ph.D. is seen as a competitive advantage. If we weighed John's life experience we might not think his degree came so cheaply. Nor would we want to prevent him placing it next to his name saying he earned it. No, he did not get it from Harvard or Kent or Youngstown State. Nor did he get it so his career could blossom and all the doors could open before him.
Full disclosure; I worked for John years ago as an instructor at Ohio Valley Business College. You can consider him my friend, though I don't think he recognized me when we sat near one another at the National Day of Prayer breakfast earlier this year. And I am a Republican, so I probably don't agree with John on some issues.
Finally, I am asking for a few things in response to this letter. I am asking that John NOT resign. I hope Mr. Wargo will also ponder and respond. This is not an acceptable approach to off-setting an opponent's advantage.
R. Wesley Starr