I have been asked many times why I am running for office. I am retired; I had a great career; and I have a very good life. While I am very content with my life, I have been disappointed with the politics in our county for several years. Our elected officials are supposed to work for the citizens: not just for their parties and certainly not for themselves. Accordingly, listening should be the first order of business for our county government officials. Working for the citizens also necessitates civility. When I say that I want to bring some civility into the County Council, I mean it.
Disagreeing with someone does not require us to be disagreeable. We can have different views, even differences of opinions. It should not surprise anyone that we have differences; in fact we should expect them. During my long career in law enforcement I experienced those differences many times. Sitting in a courtroom, I would hear one side of a case, and when the other side spoke, my first thought was that there were two different cases.
While the differences I encountered in law enforcement were sometimes intense, our current political disagreements seem confrontational to the point of being dysfunctional. When people don’t work together, very little gets done, and citizens are deprived of effective representation. The people of this county are entitled not only to an accounting of how their tax dollars spent but also to transparency in the representation provided by elected county officials.
Disappointment with politics is not new and is, in fact, very normal in our society. We make jokes about politicians and the political processes, for example. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president… is morally treasonable to the American public.” I believe it is the citizens’ responsibility to critique government and, if possible, to engage in making the necessary changes or solutions.