Monday, January 22, 2018


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Be Better than the Past

            The new, or renewed, local governments have taken their seats.  Some would say that, now the hard part begins.  No, it's not hard but it is going to be very challenging – very, very challenging. 

            Decisions were made, now decisions must be made.  To go forward with, or undo the past requires more than a vote at the upcoming meeting.  Officials need to prepare themselves now, not later.

            Information is key to decision-making.  Correct, proper, and true information is needed to base all decisions.  Opinions should be heard, but treated as the thoughts of others and weighed appropriately.  Many will offer their opinions to sway your decisions one way or the other, but truth and facts override gossip and vengeance-based tongue wagging every time.

            Face-to-face conversation will always top social media rants.  Don't be thin-skinned; you're an elected official and you will get slammed once-in-a-while.  Consider the source and think twice before hitting "Reply."

            And, don't forget the people.  The ones who you represent; not just the ones who voted for you.  Information is power.  Share the information you used to make your decision with the people – early and often.  It will help them understand your position.  They may not agree, but they will understand.

            Hide behind closed doors and you will incur their wrath.  Know the laws and respect them and the people.

            Heck, we probably won't ever agree on everything.  But, if the arguments are made in a respectful, fact-filled way we may find that we agree on more things than we disagree with.

            Give your elected officials, especially those newly seated, the opportunity to do their jobs.  It may not be fast, but isn't doing it right more important than doing it over?  Can I save the taxpayers money or will my decision end up costing more.  You inherited previous decisions and actions, good and bad.  If you can make them better, do so – if not, take that lemon and make lemonade.

            To those officials, learn your job and responsibilities well.  Don't let anybody hold your hand at the meetings.  You were elected, it's now your responsibility.  Show the people what you can do.

            Don't sit like a bump on a log at your governmental meetings.  Ask questions, share thoughts, cite facts, be involved, and communicate – to your fellow officials and the people.      

            Communication is the key to opening the door for sharing information.  Information is power.  The power to make the right decisions; and the power to further share that information. 

            Make this the year we all fight divisiveness and work towards understanding, if not agreeing with each other, and being better than the past.





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