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A few Words of Advice for Politicians

February 18, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Somewhere along the line things have gotten muddied up. Not too many years ago, elected officials recognized that they worked for the people. Constituents were respected and answered to by their representatives.

Over the years though the opposite has occurred. Now, many of our elected officials no longer respect or answer to the taxpayers they represent. They think and act as if the voters do not need to know or participate in their affairs. They therefore believe that they are not accountable for their actions.

There is an abuse of the executive session that runs like a plague through local government. In a Democratic society, it is not up to elected officials as to what the People are entitled to know or not know.

I live in Harrison County. It is a rural county, with just three red, yellow, green traffic lights, two in Scio and one on the square in Cadiz. I find it particularly disturbing that now, when we need our local politicians working on vital issues, some of our county commissioners have lost their focus. The reports on commissioners meetings including shouting matches about petty issues is of course counterproductive. Such actions serve little towards improving the perceived integrity of elected officials and also deter from building stronger public trust in the affairs of government

Elected officials should hold themselves accountable for both fulfilling their campaign pledges and their actions while in office should illustrate that they are working on behalf of the public interest.

Sure this was a small issue, that was reported on, and complained about - but it is the larger Democratic principal that is really at issue here. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The people have a right to know what goes on in meetings from the local school board to Capitol Hill and it is my suggestion to all politicians - that if you do not want your words or deeds to become public knowledge, then perhaps they should be conducted in private, not during a public meeting, that is after all - a matter of public record.


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