Thursday, December 13, 2018


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What Divides Us?

            Why is it that we pay more attention to issues that divide us than those that unite us? 

            How did we sink to a level where we seem to be looking over our shoulder every day for the next thing to go wrong or the next harm to be inflicted on another human being?  Too many folks are watching and waiting for the next shoe to drop when they could be helping to tie the laces that will keep it in place.

            We all make mistakes – even elected officials on all levels.  For them, the people have the power to vote them out of office every two, four, or six years.  Dare I say, even voters sometimes make mistakes. 

            But should we live divided during that time?  Shall we be separated into parts or pieces or can we agree to disagree and work together to find the common good for all of the people even if it leads to more questions.

            According to many respected surveys, among the top three reasons for couples breaking up is: abuse, finances, and poor communications.  Wow!  It isn't hard to equate all three of those personal reasons to our public officials and ourselves.

            Abuse?  Just look at the conduct of meeting officials and attendees.  The verbal, abusive shots fired, in all directions, are only paled by the vile attacks (again on both sides) in social media.  Common courtesies are among the first victims of our divisiveness.

            Finances? Build a new middle school – don't build a new middle school – pause the construction on the new middle school.  It really does boil down to the money and the services provided.  Have a police department – don't have a police department – utilize combined services for a police department.  Again, it boils down to the money and the services provided.

            Poor Communications?  Every time your local representatives choose to violate the law by having "executive sessions" or closed door meetings to discuss items that legally must be discussed and decided in public, they violate the trust of your "marriage."  The failure of officials to know the difference and keeping you in the dark about things they should be shedding a public light on, is their act of unfaithfulness.

            Solicitors are lawyers that are paid by the taxpayers to represent the officials – not the public who pays them.  Solicitors are needed to protect government officials from saying or doing something illegal – and by extension protecting the borough for questionable acts by officials.

            As the old saying goes, "anybody can do anything they want – even break the law – until somebody calls them out on it."  That somebody has to be the public because the solicitor can't while representing the offenders, and after all it is the people who are being wronged.

            At what point can truth and debate take the place of animosity and vengeance?  When can transparency in local government take the place of secrecy?  Who will stand up and answer those questions?

            We need to give the recently elected their chance to answer those questions.

            Shortly after losing the presidential election, former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson II said, "That which unites us as American citizens is far greater than that which divides us …"   Find that which unites us and use it to help mend that which divides us.





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