Adams County residents — disillusioned by what they say is a culture of corruption among county government officials and employees — have joined …
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Adams County residents — disillusioned by what they say is a culture of corruption among county government officials and employees — have joined forces to form a conservative advocacy group dedicated to educating residents and pushing for change.
The Adams County Reform Project, a registered 527 organization formed in December 2011, “seeks to effect a political transformation in Adams County by making wholesale changes to current elected leadership,” according to the group’s website.
“We hope to usher in a new era of transparency and good stewardship of taxpayers’ money,” said Adams County Reform Project spokeswoman Michelle Balch Lyng. “Quite frankly, Adams County deserves a lot better than a government that isn’t a very good steward of its citizens, funds and trust.”
While no one particular incident had spurred the group’s creation, Lyng said the number of criminal charges and allegations of misconduct levied against county employees and officials over the years has shocked many members.
“We do believe there has been a culture of corruption there, but there are also a lot of people in Adams County who work hard and want to do the right thing,” Lyng said. “Certainly, there have been a few bad apples, but the fact remains that it unfortunately overshadows a lot of the hard working people in Adams County government.”
Lyng said the county official misconduct allegations and the resulting criminal charges in recent years has scarred the county’s reputation and created a sense of distrust among residents.
She said the group hopes to change that by educating Adams County residents on how corruption impacts them, what the negative effects are and why they should be interested in having a more transparent government.
Thornton resident Tony Hake, a group member, said he has heard the many stories of alleged corruption among county officials, since his family first moved to Adams County in 1963.
Hake said he began to become more involved in tracking county government activities following the Quality Paving and Quality Resurfacing scandal that first arose in 2008. For him, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“It’s time for the citizens of Adams County to stand up and say, `No more,’” Hake said. “It’s time for the people of Adams County to open their eyes and realize that changes need to be made and they need to be drastic ones.”
For more information about the Adams County Reform Project and its outreach efforts, visit the group’s website http://www.reformadamsnow.org.
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